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Gunnersbury Park to raise car park charges from the new year

Parking charges are set to rise for motorists using the car park at Gunnersbury Park and Museum from the new year.

Having only started charging earlier this year in May, Gunnersbury, which is jointly owned by Hounslow Council and Ealing Council,  has said that it’s introductory rate of 50p an hour is set to be made permanent at £1 an hour starting in January 2023.

But those staying for 30 minutes or less will not have to pay, previously visitors could get 20 minutes free parking but this has now increased by 10 minutes.

Blue Badge holders will continue to park free of charge in the disabled car park and the main car park. If disabled patrons have not previously supplied their Blue Badge and car registration details they will need to do so in advance of their first visit to be registered.

Visitors will be able to pay by debit and credit cards as well as Apple Pay or via the RingGo App.

The introduction of parking charges to Gunnersbury was brought in to cover its running costs which include park maintenance.

When first announcing the charges earlier this year, Gunnersbury said the money raised from parking will help to go towards its £750,000 a year basic running costs. It also revealed that it had a target of £80,000 in the first year to spend on essential park maintenance.

Explaining its decision to raise the prices, Gunnersbury said: “The running cost for Gunnersbury Park & Museum is in excess of £2.3m this financial year 2022/23, and these costs are rising. We receive a management fee from Ealing and Hounslow councils to run the Gunnersbury Estate which incorporates  72 hectares of parkland and a number of historical buildings including the museum, the bath house, the orangery and the temple. This management fee currently covers 27% of our costs. We further have a backlog of repairs and maintenance issues which the CIC inherited when taking over the management of the estate, which are not included in these figures.”

They added: “The majority of our income comes from commercial income, including our outdoor events programme and venue hires. It is crucial that we utilise all income streams to continue keeping the park and museum well-maintained, safe and free to access all year round.”

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