Charging to park there is bonkers
I WAS born in 1962, not long after Ashton Court came into the city's ownership, and have lived close by all my life, as a child in Long Ashton and now with my family in Clifton.
Ashton Court has been my "playground" and I have watched the changes there over the years with interest.
What I used to love about the park was the wide variety of people who gained pleasure from it; big groups of families and friends having picnics and playing games, an elderly couple with the wife in a picnic chair reading and the husband asleep in the car, a father showing his son how to fly a kite, a man practising his golf swing, my elderly neighbour taking a walk after his recent heart attack, even couples meeting for an illicit affair. There was the whole of Bristol, from the young to the old, the rich and the poor, the able and less able.
We live in an era where "accessibility" is a by-word. I knew that restricting cars to just a few car parks in Ashton Court would reduce accessibility for many. It is difficult to lug a large picnic and all the paraphernalia to the quietest corner of the park, not so easy for the elderly to find a peaceful corner to relax. The variety of users has gone. Just look next time you visit; how many elderly people do you see and what else are people doing apart from simply walking? In my opinion the number of visitors has fallen too, partly because the car parks are too small, which puts people off going.
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The introduction of car parking charges will reduce the diversity of users even more. The idea is bonkers. It will lead to more parking in the surrounding streets. It will deter visitors further and will be the thin end of a wedge.
Ashton Court is on the edge of the city and, requires transport to get there. For many getting there on foot, bicycle or bus is not an option.
I would urge anyone who agrees with me to register their names on the website epetitions.bristol.gov.uk and protest against this foolhardy idea.
I AM bewildered by dog walkers' grounds for objection to the proposed parking fee at Ashton Court. (Dog walkers barking mad over proposed £1 parking fee at Ashton Court", Evening Post Jan 30).
Ashton Court car parking fees are described as "a tax on health". It seems to me that if the users of Ashton Court were serious about their health, they could walk, cycle or jog there instead. Public transport and car-sharing are also options.
For a long time Ashton Court has been unusual for a place of its type, in offering free parking. The very modest £1 parking charge would simultaneously raise much-needed funds for the council and encourage people to leave their cars at home in favour of a healthier option.
The Green Party proposed a review of parking costs at Ashton Court and Blaise Estate which would generate an extra £90,000 a year for council services, such as improved public transport across Bristol.
Bristol Green Party