Plans to double parking charges at Southwater Country Park condemned as ‘disgraceful’

Strong criticism is being levelled at plans to double car parking charges at Southwater Country Park.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 10:42 am

The proposals - which will see daily charges increase from £3 to £6 - have been condemned as ‘disgraceful.’

And there are fears that the increased charges will lead to more people parking in nearby residential streets.

Horsham District Council is proposing to introduce the new parking fees for its three car parks at the site from April 19.


As well as doubling the daily charge from £3 to £6 between April 1 - October 31, it is also planned to increase charges for up to an hour from the current 50p to £1, and to increase the charge for parking for up to three hours from £1.50 to £2, and to charge £3 for parking between three and four hours.

Opposition to the proposals is being voiced on the West Sussex County Times’ Facebook page.

Laura Dixon said: “This is disgraceful! It used to be a really lovely cheap day out for young families.

“When my daughter was young, the carpark was free!”

And Zara Louise Lewis urged the council: “Please don’t ... I live near the country park and in the summer it makes it so difficult!

“The road is a bus route too and it’s just hell. And one little yellow sign doesn’t really cut it by the way, Horsham district council!!!!!”

Julie Clark added: “Well people won’t go if they have to pay that much or they will park in side roads and that will annoy the locals.”

Gary Tanner agreed. He said: “Oh roll on the summer ... when people park in residential roads, parking on the grass verges by junctions.

“The bus can’t get through as there will be cars everywhere.”

Neil Davies added: “If a bus can’t get through, guess a fire engine on a shout won’t either.”

Helen Carr said: “The cafe will be the business that suffers. I often park there to run on the Downslink and get tea and buns after. I’ll be going elsewhere now.”

Ryan Lee said: “I hope there is going to be an increase in parking enforcement patrols in the nearby housing estates to stop the parking issues this will cause.

“Also I hope the increased revenue will be spent in Southwater to improve facilities and tackle ongoing antisocial behaviour.”

Under the council’s proposals, parking fees would also now be put in place during the winter.

Between November 1 and March 31, parking is currently free on weekdays but is set to cost £1 under the new proposals.

During winter, it currently costs £3 to park all day on Saturdays and Sundays and that is set to go up to £6.

There will also be weekend charges for shorter periods: £1 for up to an hour, £2 for one to three hours, and £3 for three to four hours.

The charges will operate year-round between 9am - 6pm, instead of currently between 10am and 4pm in winter and 10am - 6pm in summer.