07:55AM, Friday 28 March 2014
Dorney villagers are set to be given back free parking at Dorney Lake.
However, people living outside of Dorney will have to continue to pay to park at the rowing facility.
The London 2012 Olympic venue attracted thousands of visitors to cycle, walk and run when there were no charges in its car parks.
However, traffic fell by 80 per cent since Dorney Lake Trust - which manages the lake on behalf of Eton College - introduced a £2.50 daily charge for motorists in November.
After a review of the move and 'vehement opposition' from parishioners, 300 households will be given passes for free parking by the end of April.
At the Dorney Parish Council annual meeting on Wednesday, March 19, the lake's managing director Ivor Lloyd explained it wanted to dissuade people from visiting to protect the site
"An open door policy led to up to 5,000 people coming on site [on it busiest days], all of which is a problem for you and for us," he said
"You can't just be an open invitation to people."
The trust restricted access to the site after reports of anti social behaviour and vandalism.
Mr Lloyd said it felt charging for parking was the only other thing it could do to bring visitor levels under control without closing the venue again.
He defended the decision, saying: "People felt they owned it.
"It's not a municipal facility - you've got to come and obey the rules."
One resident at the meeting asked why Dorney villagers were not given free parking straight away.
Mr Lloyd said the lake had met with the parish council and both parties agreed they should see what happened with a trial and then make a change.
He added there are no plans to offer free or discounted parking to anyone else.
Top Ten Articles
Police raided addresses in Lillibrooke Crescent, Cox Green, and in Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, at about 7.15am.