At the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee last week, the Green administration brought forward a report that aimed to introduce car-parking charges to use our city’s parks and green spaces. Labour, rightly voted down these attempts.
Spending time in the park is one of the very few free and healthy options for families and individuals. It is essential for people’s mental and physical wellbeing that access to the parks is encouraged rather than restricted. If, as a society, we really want to fight obesity we must continue to provide spaces for free and healthy exercise.
During lockdown, a much more diverse and geographically widespread group of people discovered the joys of our local parks. This is a cause for celebration and should be viewed as a positive and healthy development and encouraged as much as possible.
At a time when people’s incomes have been reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing introduced, the ability to visit the park is even more essential than usual. Introducing car parking charges will disproportionately affect those who need free access the most.
Access to the parks must remain free to all, and Labour will continue to fight to ensure that remains the case.