Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Saturday, 16 January 2010

London Royal Parks parking fees approved

Deer in Bushy Park
Drivers will need to pay 3 a day to park at Richmond Park

Culture minister Margaret Hodge has given the go-ahead for new parking charges in two Royal Parks in London.

Motorists parking in Richmond Park, and Bushy Park, both in south-west London, will have to pay £1 and 50p respectively to park for one hour.

Residents and politicians have fought the proposals - saying it is a tax on using free green space.

"It's going to ruin the park" said Justine Greening, shadow minister for London.

"The charges will be unaffordable for pensioners and families with children who need to bring their cars in with prams."

'Compare favourably'

Colin Buttery, deputy chief executive of The Royal Parks, said: "At a maximum of £2 a day at Bushy Park and £3 a day at Richmond Park, the charges are similar to the cost of a cup of coffee and compare favourably with car parks locally and at similar amenities."

Other changes include the reduction of the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph and allowing private hire vehicles into the parks.

The fees will be implemented later this year, subject to parliamentary approval.

Income from the charges will be used to help maintain car parks and roads.

Other Royal Parks in London, like Greenwich and Hyde Park, already charge for parking.

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