Archive for April, 2009

Richmond Park car park charging

OK, so it’s always been free to park in Richmond Park and now the government is proposing to start charging.  The park has pretty poor to non-existent public transport.  It’s also the place to bring bikes – A and I taught John to cycle without stabilizers  (well mostly A).  That day we had two small children, two bikes and Sandy – how we would have got there without a car I have no idea.  The walk from the gate is in inself longer than the kids could manage.  It’s a marvelously large park, I think at least three times the size of Hampstead Heath (as per D’s map of London at the weekend). Lots and lots of locals who live just that little bit too far to walk to the park take their dogs there everyday.  It’s safe for them to walk, their dogs can be off the lead, and away from traffic.  The  proposal is to start charging by the hour at rates in line with roads in local areas eg. Richmond and Kingston.  If you use the Park on a regular basis to walk your dog or just yourself that could mean something like £400 a  year or more.

The argument is that it will mean less traffic in the Park.  But also part of the proposal is to start to allow private taxis to use the park.  OK so you can then go to the park if you can either afford to pay for the car park or afford to arrive in a taxi.  The reality will be that the taxis will use the Park as a cut through avoiding traffic outside the Park.  This seems kinda crazy.

One of the best things about the Park is that the whole experience is stress free – an evening walk can be half an hour, two hours or even three hours.  Having to have the right change to pay or getting back before the hour is out – is just against everything the Park has always been about – it’s about exploring the park and going where the path takes you.  Richmond Park is not like other Royal Parks – it’s more like a Common.

What can you do?

Respond to the consultation paper – has to be done by the 1st May

Sign the petition: on the number 10 site

Sign the petition on Susan Kramer’s site

Join the Facebook group

Cashback

Just discovered Quidco thanks to L. 🙂

Dog power

Sandy went for the Postman this morning – poor guy.  Actually, I think she was only interested in the post, but it was quite comical seeing him drop the letters on the driveway and run away.  He wouldn’t believe me when I said that she was not going to hurt him, she had other things on her mind, like the prospect of her morning check out of the neighborhood.

News pathways

I just found out about the Italian earthquake via Demi Moore on Twitter… Surreal.

Festival summer

Fancy coming along to Latitude?  I’m crossing fingers for good weather… I’ve been assured that it’s mud-less.