Park proposals spark concerns from some

Stunning autumn colours at Druridge Bay Country Park. Picture by
Anne HopperStunning autumn colours at Druridge Bay Country Park. Picture by
Anne Hopper
Stunning autumn colours at Druridge Bay Country Park. Picture by Anne Hopper
Plans to reintroduce car-parking charges at a beauty spot to invest in improvements have not proved universally popular with readers.

Last week, we reported that at Druridge Bay Country Park, the county council is proposing to replace the old play equipment with a high-quality installation, extend and improve the café and outdoor seating area and introduce a new facility for camping and touring caravans.

But in order to pay for this investment, it is proposed that parking charges will be reintroduced, although the first hour would be free of charge.

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All-day parking would cost £3, while up to two hours would be £1.60.

But our report sparked a number of variety of views on our Facebook page.

Gemma Fairbairn said: “They have just not long ago took the parking charges away! People go to walk their dogs or just a walk around they don’t want to be charged every time they go. Surely there are other ways to raise money. Could hold an activity fund raiser day! How good would that be? Charge people for stalls and all profit goes to improve the place! Even though I love it how it is. It would spoil it to have camping there all the time.”

Jane Dargue added: “Druridge Country Park has a hugely popular park run every Saturday – this will directly affect all those attending every week.”

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However, Kathryn Gillie posted: “All people think about is complaining! They had parking charges in place a few years ago, people paid and didn’t complain. They have the caravan club attend and camping festivals over the weekends, do you complain then? So what’s with reintroducing parking charges and having a decent road to drive along, a car park less likely to flood!! The campers would no doubt be in one of the fields out of the way! People just don’t like change. I can’t wait for it to happen, have a lovely cafe to sit in after a run.”

And Monica Gunn said: “Used to park my camper there for a reasonable fee. Then it was stopped. I would welcome some camping facilities again and would happily pay.”

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for local services, said: “It’s very positive because we are investing for the first time in a decade in our country parks. I have tried very hard to talk to users and listen to people so we can accommodate them.”

As an example, he explained that those involved in the park run will be able to park for free for two hours.