Call for discounts to park at leisure sites

Members of Friends of Pugneys at the country park car park who are angry that the council has decided to scrap free parking and increase charges to visitors.

Members of Friends of Pugneys at the country park car park who are angry that the council has decided to scrap free parking and increase charges to visitors.

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ANNUAL parking discounts could be offered at Pugneys Country Park and other leisure facilities around the city.

The idea was put forward by the Friends of Pugneys, who fear parking charges ranging from 30p to £4 will put regular visitors off.

The group has been campaigning against a decision made by Wakefield Council’s Cabinet committee in July to scrap free parking at the site.

And the council’s head of sport and culture Lisa Dodd said an annual pass would be considered.

She said: “We are aware of the Friends’ suggestion for an annual parking permit and are considering this in the light of our other, similar, leisure facilities.

“The council did consider the possibility of enabling visitors to park for the first hour free of charge, but with the current budget situation this was just not feasible.”

Wendy Marsh, chairwoman of the Friends of Pugneys, said without a pass regular visitors could have to pay up to £130 a year to park there.

She said: “The charges for any length of visits could prove unaffordable to many who visit regularly to keep themselves, fit, healthy and happy. These simple pleasures should not have to be paid for.

“Sadly the park may have lost many of its regulars before an annual permit is offered.”

Ms Marsh also said the ‘pay and display’ machines were in areas prone to flooding and could lead to accidents.

She said: “How long will it be before someone slips and hurts themselves?”

Ms Dodd said the council was aware of the potential for flooding and would “remedy the situation.”

The Friends of Pugney’s committee is disbanding.

Anyone who would like to help take on the role should attend a meeting at Pugneys on Monday, December 12 at 11am.