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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Talkin Tarn parking fee rise ‘disgusting’

Proposed increases in parking charges at a landmark may have been watered down, but a community leader is still angry about them.

Connie Ridley photo
Connie Ridley

Connie Ridley, chairman of Brampton Parish Council, has hit out at price rises for Talkin Tarn car park.

This comes after the proposals were changed following public opposition.

Currently motorists pay £1 to park there between 10am and 6pm. Outside those times it is free.

The original proposal was to double the day-time fee and charge 50p between 8am and 10am, and 6pm and 7pm.

Councillor Elsie Martlew, the Carlisle City councillor responsible for environment and transport, told the authority’s ruling executive this week that these were changing.

Motorists will be able to park for up to an hour for £1 – long enough for most people to walk around the tarn – and £2 for longer. It will remain free at other times.

An annual membership will go up from £35 to £50.

But Mrs Ridley is still unsatisfied, especially because parking at many parks in Carlisle, such as Hammond’s Pond, is free.

“I just think it is absolutely disgusting. There is a very strong feeling in Brampton about this,” she said.

“Why should we pay when everybody in Carlisle gets it for free?”

She added: “The tarn was left to the people of Brampton, Things need to be kept up and they do a good job at the tarn, but I think what will happen is people will not park in the car park and will park along the roads nearby.”

Mrs Ridley believes an hour would allow most people to walk around the water but added that they may not stay to use the cafe or shops if they have to pay extra for more than an hour’s parking.

City councillor Stephen Layden said he had mixed feelings about the price rises.

The proposals will go before a scrutiny panel he sits on.

“If the reason behind them is purely to bring in more money I think that is totally wrong,” he said.

He added that he would reluctantly support them if the money goes to maintaining the tarn.

Mrs Martlew said: “We are not discriminating against Talkin Tarn.”

She added that the tarn has the cheapest car parking in the Carlisle area, and that more than £1m has been spent there since the city council took over the country park.

There is a deficit of more than £80,000 in the account responsible for the tarn.

She also said that groups should take their anger to central government which has told councils to make cutbacks to their budgets.

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