Gransnet forums


Parking charges

(23 Posts)
NanKate Fri 01-Aug-14 17:53:39

Just been to the lovely Wakehurst Place (part of Kew Gardens) in Sussex.

As NT Members we do not have to pay an entrance fee but most times have coffee there, then buy in the shop, followed by a walk and lunch, so they do get a fair bit of our money.

When we arrived today we found that there were parking charges for the first time but they were not displayed anywhere - is this legal ?

I felt sorry for the staff who were being bombarded with questions about parking prices, it transpires 1 hour costs £2.00, 2 hours £5.00 and all day £10.00. No exceptions for Blue Badge holders.

The only way to get free parking is to become a member.

The café was very quiet and only a few people in the grounds.

So my question is - do they have to display their prices ?

ginny Fri 01-Aug-14 21:17:58

Many NT properties charge parking for non members.

I am not sure of the legality of not displaying the charges and there is usually a board in the car park along with a ticket machine. If there is not how do people know what and who to pay and indeed that they should ?

I agree with the principle but £5.00 for two hours does seem a little steep. £10 for the day does not seem too bad as people can enjoy all the facilities. I have no problem with 'blue badges' being charged,being disabled does not necessarily mean you have less money.

goldengirl Fri 01-Aug-14 21:43:21

We have an outlet centre near us and the parking charges are outrageous so I rarely go there. There is also a shopping centre not too far away which have a super range of shops where you have 5 hours free parking. I've not been to a NT place for some while; I'd expect to pay for entry to a property and would assume that would include parking but i would expect to pay to apri separately. If its a beach area then I know there are charges which I presume go towards upkeep.

Mishap Fri 01-Aug-14 22:12:17

The disgrace round here are the parking charges at the hospital. I would go for physio and rarely got away with less than £5. Anyone there with someone in labour needs to take out a mortgage.

GrannyTwice Fri 01-Aug-14 22:18:31

I think the issue with Wakehurst is that it isn't actually NT but used to let NT members in free with free parking. Now they are charging for the parking

GrannyTwice Fri 01-Aug-14 22:20:19

As you were - completely confused- it is NT so I am completely confused

GrannyTwice Fri 01-Aug-14 22:21:19

Well I am GrannyTwice so I can be completely confused twice

MiniMouse Sat 02-Aug-14 21:36:25

GrannyTwice There is a petition regarding Wakehurst parking and there's also a thread on Facebook.

If you buy a daily ticket, the parking is included in the entry fee. If you are an NT member you are charged for parking! You can buy a Wakehurst Season Ticket for £25.00, which allows free parking. This means that, if you are already an NT member you are paying for your subscription plus the Season Ticket!!

There is uproar over this! NT members are leaving in their droves - not renewing their membership in protest. There was no warning that NT were going to introduce the charge and apparently it isn't obvious when you arrive at Wakehurst.

The main complaint is the level of the charge - if they'd introduced it as a couple of pounds, people may have muttered and grumbled, but would probably have paid up. £10.00 is a ludicrous amount, especially if people have already spent money on fuel to get there!

If I can find the link, I'll post it on here.

MiniMouse Sat 02-Aug-14 21:37:56

Here's one link

MiniMouse Sat 02-Aug-14 21:39:03

Here's the link to the petition

GrannyTwice Sat 02-Aug-14 22:16:18

Thanks Mini- signed

NanKate Sun 03-Aug-14 07:23:36

Thanks Minimouse for the links I will check them out.

I was talking to my DinL about the Wakehurst situation and she said that Kew Gardens, which are linked to Wakehurst, are also in financial difficulties. They are 2 such wonderful places I hope they can be saved, I just think they have gone about raising extra funds in the wrong way.

JessM Sun 03-Aug-14 07:44:07

Lets consider for a moment where Kew Gardens is - in congested West London. There is a tube station and there are also, I am sure, lots and lots of buses. There is some free parking along the road for visitors to the garden. I would have thought anyone who uses an actual car park in that part of the country would expect to pay for the privilege. Just sounds like they have not got a system sorted for collecting charges.
I can think of one other NT property where there is a parking charge and that is Stowe. Why not just recoup it from the entrance fee? Because visitors can use the cafe and shop and also look round the inn and the kitchen garden without a ticket. I guess that is the reason.
There are also NT car parks in the countryside where there is a charge unless you are a member.

janeainsworth Sun 03-Aug-14 08:10:51

There is a real funding issue at Kew because the government have withdrawn funding for the world-leading research that is carried on there. I signed a petition on Facebook a few months ago about it, I'll see if I can find the link.

janeainsworth Sun 03-Aug-14 08:22:24

Sorry I realise this has hijacked the OP but I think it is so sad and wrong that the government has chosen to undermine an institution of which we should all be very proud.

WRT the OP, I think that parking charges are just part of the cost of owning a vehicle.

ginny Sun 03-Aug-14 09:23:56

MiniMouse ...I didn't realise that NT members had to pay for parking at Wakehurst . That does seem unfair .

JessM... Is it a recent change at Stowe ? I was there earlier in the year and parking charges only applied for non members, unless I just assumed that.

Tegan Sun 03-Aug-14 10:09:32

I buy my son and daughter NT membership each year as it's an organisation I like to support. However, as my daughter has two young children it usually restricts them to walking round the grounds [which they do on a regular basis at the local country park]. If they had to pay for parking there I'd stop buying it for them. It also annoys me the way that some English Heritage sites have an agreement with the NT that it's members can go round for free and vice versa, but others don't. Not many people can afford to have membership with both organisations. They need to encourage as many people as possible to visit them as I'd assume a lot of their profit comes from sales in the shops and tearooms. Making it more difficult for people would be shooting themselves in the foot [imo].

Nonnie Sun 03-Aug-14 10:46:06

We were at an English Heritage property this week and there was a parking charge but it was refunded against the cost of entrance. Presumably that stops people parking who are not visiting the property.

MiniMouse Sun 03-Aug-14 18:56:38

One of the issues with Wakehurst is the fact that existing NT members were suddenly clobbered with the charge! New members could have been advised before they signed up. In my case, I would be paying 3 lots of charges as my DCs quite simply would not be able to afford it on top of fuel costs. So, NT have lost 3 Family Memberships!

A little research seems to reveal that the whole idea has backfired with literally hundreds of NT members boycotting Wakehurst and management there are just refusing to listen to members' concerns. Desperately sad when you read how much they need the revenue.

Purpledaffodil Mon 04-Aug-14 12:10:15

Thanks for the info MiniMouse. Have signed the petition. However worthy the cause, NT subscriptions are not cheap and to clobber people with such a high parking charge is unfair and will not help NT in the long run.

NanKate Tue 05-Aug-14 17:20:08

I was telling my Chiropodist (as you do) about the exorbitant parking charges at Wakehurst Place and he said that they were doing something similar at LEGOLAND in Berkshire, where the entrance fee alone for a family is over a £100, plus parking. (shock]

He said that you could pay to jump the queues, which was ok for those with plenty of money but everyone else had to wait around for hours. I definitely won't be making a visit there with my grandchildren.

overthehill Sun 10-Aug-14 16:59:55

What I object to is having to make a decision at a pay and display on how long you are going to stay.

I prefer parking that you pay on exit for the time you have spent there.

We go away a lot in the summer time in our caravan and make it our mission to not pay parking unless we really have no alternative.

We get a map of the area or look on the internet and see where the parking charges stop and park there. OK you might have to walk a bit, but it's doing you good.

I realise of course everyone isn't fit enough to walk, but if you are try it out.

whitewave Sun 10-Aug-14 18:22:33

I am sure that they will loose custom in the shop, restaurants etc. We pop in perhaps once or twice a year especially around Christmas to see the tree and have lunch and do a bit of shopping, but will give it a miss if we have to pay so much I object on principal as I think the NT subs are enough.

There are footpaths near-by - I am not sure how practical it would be to park elsewhere then walk especially in the winter when it would be so muddy.