03:16PM, Monday 30 October 2017
Parking charges are set to be introduced at Cookham Moor’s National Trust Car Park, the organisation has confirmed.
Visitors will need to pay £2 if they use the site, in the Pound, for more than half an hour from early next year.
Owen Hibben, lead ranger for Maidenhead and Cookham Commons, said this would allow parents to drop their children off at school and High Street shoppers to stop by Cookham’s businesses briefly.
“We’re proud and delighted that more and more people are choosing to visit the commons, but we need to ensure we have the funds available to protect these special places and carry out the necessary conservation works,” he said.
National Trust members will continue to park for free if they display their membership sticker and cyclists will not be charged.
The income will be spent on support maintenance at the National Trust’s car parks, improving access to the commons and conservation projects.
But Cllr Andrew Nye, the Cookham Parish Council chairman, said the council had made it ‘very clear’ to the National Trust that it did not want charges.
He added: “It is visited by lots of people, not just National Trust members.”
Parking in the village is limited ‘by the nature of the village’, he said, ‘is one of the things the parish council is committed to looking at long term’.
Mr Hibben said: “We would also like to keep improving facilities for our visitors and ensure we get the basics right.
“We require funds in order to proactively manage the woodland, chalk grassland and marshes for wildlife, and maintain the footpaths, fencing and car parks.”
The Trust said it costs about £70,000 per year to maintain Maidenhead and Cookham Commons.
A planning application for a 181cm high pay and display machine has been submitted to the Royal Borough.
Its planning statement says the machine will only accept cash, but is able to have a card machine installed in the future.
It will be powered by a solar panel on top of the unit.
Search 17/02765/Full on www.rbwm.gov.uk to view the application.
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