Plans to increase car parking charges at three popular parks across West Northants slammed as a 'cash cow' exercise

"This is simply a cash cow,” says opposition councillor
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Thousands of motorists could be hit hard by plans to increase parking charges at three busy car parks across West Northamptonshire.

At a cabinet meeting tonight (Tuesday, January 17), West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is set to decide on plans to increase costs of parking at The Racecourse, Brixworth Country Park and Daventry Country Park.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

WNC also plans to implement new automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) based parking payment systems at the sites.

The Racecourse in Northampton is one of three sites which could have new parking charges introduced by WNCThe Racecourse in Northampton is one of three sites which could have new parking charges introduced by WNC
The Racecourse in Northampton is one of three sites which could have new parking charges introduced by WNC

What are the charges?

The following charges are the highest increases proposed by WNC.

The Racecourse is currently a free to park site. Proposals could see motorists charged £3.30 for a three-hour stay.

It is currently £2.20 to park all day at Daventry Country Park. WNC proposes to increase that by 445 per cent (£12).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A season ticket at Brixworth Country Park is currently £38. WNC proposes to increase that to £70.

Click here for the full list of proposed charges.


Labour councillor Emma Roberts (Delapre and Rushmere ward) said: "This is simply a cash cow. It has no real justification and is just being used to pack the gaps in funding. The hike is huge. Another result of underfunding of councils from local government.”

Resident Jake Blackburn said: "Charging for parking for attending Park Run on The Racecourse is a tax on exercise and well-being. Doesn’t look like this has been thought through."

Bill Craven fumed: “Daventry Country Park increase is exorbitant.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Anna Thorpe said: “Introducing a parking charge at the Racecourse will move the traffic to local streets, which are already congested, or casual users will go to Abington Park or similar.

It is short sighted and will increase local parking issues while discouraging use of our brilliant park.”

Hayley Cassidy added: "The Park Run season ticket is a great idea."

What is WNC’s justification?

The council says current methods of paying for parking in Brixworth and Daventry country parks are 'inconvenient for users', 'do not offer a choice of periods', and are 'vulnerable to abuse and non-payment'. The machines are also 'aging and prone to failure'.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cllr Phil Larratt, WNC cabinet member for transport and highways, said: "The existing car parking equipment is not fit for purpose and it is essential we bring this up to date for our users."Increasing fees enables us to invest in our car parks, and ensure that they’re accessed by people using these facilities. We have worked hard to consider all options and keep the costs to a minimum as much as possible."

All three sites are popular for those wanting to exercise, especially for Park Run events every weekend. The council has proposed a £5 season ticket for Park Run participants.

Cllr Adam Brown, WNC deputy leader and cabinet member for leisure, said: "The council recognises the value of Park Run as a way people of all ages and backgrounds can get into running, making themselves healthier and making friends at the same time.

"So even in these challenging financial times we wanted to support the Park Runs at Brixworth, Daventry, and Northampton Racecourse."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The council believes the changes will bring in an additional £176,000 per year in revenue, with an installation cost of £144,000.

If the plans are approved tonight, the new fees will be introduced by April, and the ANPR by summer.

Related topics: