Car park charges for RSPB South Stack looks set to be approved

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Car park charges for RSPB South Stack looks set to be approved

  • For Information only

    Visitors to RSPB South Stack might like to be aware of the following:

    Car park charges for RSPB South Stack looks set to be approved

    https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/car-park-charges-rspb-south-14474724.amp?

    The text below is quoted from the Daily Post Wales article

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    Car park charges for RSPB South Stack looks set to be approved

     

    Planning officials have recommended the green light is given to a scheme that would see visitors pay £5 to visit the beauty spot

    by Alex Hickey

    05:00, 30 Mar 2018

     

    Parking charges at South Stack nature reserve look likely to be introduced despite local opposition.

     

    The RSPB wants to install parking meters at the visitors centre and nearby Tŵr Elin car parks at the beauty spot near Holyhead, Anglesey.

     

    Parking at both sites is currently free, but the RSPB wants to introduce a flat £5 fee.

    Almost 4,500 have signed an online petition set up by Lisa Hooton, of nearby Llanddeusant, to oppose the charges. “I don’t object to a charge, but £5 is far too much given a lot of people here are not earning much,” she said.

    “To apply a charge to disabled badge holders is particularly disgraceful. Many people just pop here for a coffee and a piece of cake, and support the RSPB by doing that.”

     

    Protesters Lisa Hooton, Dawn Hughes and Keith Moore are opposed to plans to charge motorists to use the South Stack RSPB car park (Image: Robert Parry Jones )

    But Anglesey Council officers are recommending its planning committee approve both applications when it meets on Wednesday.

     

    This is despite local members, Cllrs Trefor Lloyd Hughes and Dafydd Rhys Thomas, both asking for the application to be “called-in” to committee due to fears charges will lead to motorists parking on the roadside – concerns shared by highways officers.

     

    According to the RSPB, all the proceeds will be reinvested into its facilities.

     

    A spokesperson said: “We’re planning to charge £5 for peak and £2.50 for off-peak (October until Easter) for non-members.

    "This charge will allow us to continue centuries-old management of Holyhead’s wonderful heathland.”

     

    Council planning officers wrote: “Objections have been raised that the installation of the parking meter will encourage people to park on South Stack road. This is not a planning matter and consideration will have to be made by the highway authority on its powers to prevent parking on South Stack road.”

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  • Actually a few more of the popular reserves without visitor centres, such as RSPB reserve at Snettisham are going to start charging car park fees for non-members of the RSPB which have always been free. Snettisham’s  car park fee from the beginning of May will be £2.00 per car for non members. I would guess it would be pay and display at that reserve, with RSPB members having to display membership cards on the car dashboard. I have noticed all of this on the reserve listings on the RSPB website.

  • Flat rate parking is a rip off though at £5. Many people incorporate South Stack into a day trip around Anglesey so many probably won't be there very long - they certainly wont hang around at £5 a pop. Charge by all means but be fair about it.

  • I have to agree it does seem extortionate, especially as many families will not stop for long, especially on a windswept area like that.

    Quite a few National Trust places charge for parking, which is free to members either by displaying a current membership card or scanning the barcode on the membership card in the ticket machine.

    RSPB Middleton Lakes, my local reserve, they charge for parking, which is free to RSPB members on production of a membership card. However, the charge is collected by the volunteers on duty and not payable to a ticket machine.

    I think, but could be wrong and I'm happy to be corrected, South Stack is not wholly owned by the RSPB. It used to be known as South Stack Country Park, but I've not seen that name used for years.

    If that is the case, I fear its another example of cash strapped councils (I understand Anglesey Council is struggling financially) trying to balance the books.

  • Mike B
    I fear its another example of cash strapped councils (I understand Anglesey Council is struggling financially) trying to balance the books.

    That wouldn't surprise me at all.  Our local council decided to hike up parking charges some years ago, even introducing charges to Blue Badge drivers.  It just means that Blue Badge drivers now park, quite legally, on double yellow lines all over town as that doesn't cost anything.

  • There is an update from the Daily Post Wales to the original posting, which can be read by following the link below.

    Anglesey pay and display beauty spot plan rejected

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/anglesey-pay-display-beauty-spot-14607638.amp

  • Interesting .

  • It is indeed very interesting as Bob says.

  • Another fact which the RSPB should be careful about at South Stack Cliffs, is that the RSPB’s lease runs out at that reserve early next year and many of the local people are saying that the local authority should not renew the RSPB’s lease at South Stack Cliffs, in 2019.

  • If that is the case, Thomo, RSPB shouldn't be careful. They should walk away.

  • I can't help feeling there are a few politicians playing politics here.  There's a line in the article that says it goes back to the committee in a month as they went against the advice of planners - and there's no planning reason to deny it.  So what's the betting in a month the committee is full of "Reluctantly, our hands are tied, we have to approve" statements?

    The council certainly won't want to take over management itself, they won't have the budget, so I doubt they could hold that over the RSPB (and who else would take it on if they can't raise sufficient revenue to cover costs?).

    At this stage, I think the story is far from over, especially as all objections could be wiped out by introducing a scale of charges instead (eg £1/hour or something instead of the fixed cost)

  • Not an RSPB reserve but for instance, at Pennington Flash yesterday there was a notice to say the car park machines weren't working (vandalism reasons) and therefore you had to go to the nearby golf shop to pay the parking fees.   We were talking to a local about it and he said "regulars who know that the car park is not really monitored just don't pay"    ...      a lot are daily dog walkers who arrive in cars and told us not to bother as there's hardly any, if no checks and apparently everyone on Bank Holiday Monday were parking for free avoiding their trip to get a ticket which is a very reasonable fee of £1.20 for the day - and yes we did nip over to the golf shop to pay the fee  !    If you can't get people to pay this for an all day ticket what chance have councils of passing a £5 per day charge.    Makes me think any parking meters or other types of tariff collecting machines would get vandalised like so many others;   Marbury Country Park was another hot spot and they haven't bothered to reinstall the machines so everyone is parking for nothing.    I have no objection to sensible charges, maybe on a sliding scale as it helps to keep the area clean, tidy and maintained but first you have to win over the public by not hiking up ridiculous all day charges if they only want to visit for an hour or two.  £1 an hour as WJ says or maybe £3 max for the day.

  • Whistling Joe
    At this stage, I think the story is far from over, especially as all objections could be wiped out by introducing a scale of charges instead (eg £1/hour or something instead of the fixed cost)

    tI totally agree with that. The biggest worry, to me , is that someone or a some planning committee in the RSPB(if we believe the story) actually thought that a flat £5 parking fee was a good idea. What other "good idea" is that same person/committee going to come up with next.

  • I agree with all the points made since my last post. To me, it simply isn't worth the aggro. IF RSPB can walk away in 2019 and leave the locals then arguing with the council over who pays, then I think that's for the best.

    I would rather money spent on RSPB reserves that include endangered species, not subsidising other people. South Stack will continue to exist, and so will the birds there (that can be seen at other reserves)

  • Robbo

    I agree with all the points made since my last post. To me, it simply isn't worth the aggro. IF RSPB can walk away in 2019 and leave the locals then arguing with the council over who pays, then I think that's for the best.

    I would rather money spent on RSPB reserves that include endangered species, not subsidising other people. South Stack will continue to exist, and so will the birds there (that can be seen at other reserves)

    I don’t agree with the above on just having reserves for endangered species. I think there should, as is the case now RSPB reserves for common as well as rare species. It’s worthwhile protecting common species, as they might become rare in years to come and then at least there will be reserves where those birds are protected.