During the debate on parking charges, The Keep Bushy Park Free campaign, which is supported by the Friends of Bushy Park, suggested a 20p toll on through traffic in Bushy Park as an alternative to parking charges.

To quote them “90% of the cars in the park are using it simply as a short-cut and do not stop in the car parks; these rat-runners will get away scot-free. Meanwhile, genuine users of Bushy Park – including dog-walkers, joggers, anglers, sports clubs and health walkers – will be penalised by the proposed charges. Many locals favour an alternative approach of charging a nominal toll of 20p on cars travelling through the Park. This would raise more money than parking charges, would deter through-traffic which could use other routes and would not penalise those who stop to use and enjoy the Park.” See their website http://www.keepbushyparkfree.org.uk for more details.

The Keep Bushy Park Free campaign and others have followed up this idea with letters to local newspapers – most recently in the January 1 edition of the Richmond and Twickenham Times, which carried three articles discussing a toll on through traffic in Bushy Park.

In the parking charges consultation the Friends of Richmond Park did with its members earlier this year we did not ask about a toll on through traffic in Richmond Park, but a number of people wrote on their responses that a small charge on through traffic would be a fairer way of raising money than parking charges.

Typical comments included “The biggest issue in the Parks is not those who come by car to use the Park but those who drive through it as a short cut”. “The most radical solution would be to charge people on exit UNLESS they spent say 45 minutes or more in Richmond Park.","Parking charges leaves wholly unpenalised those who merely use it for a short-cut”.“If the park has to raise money every vehicle entering the park should pay a small fee – say 40p”.

We do not know whether The Royal Parks or Margaret Hodge treated the idea of a toll on through traffic road tolls as a serious alternative to parking charges, but it is obviously becoming a live issue.

Since there is no specific proposal as yet, we do not intend to do a formal consultation of our members, as on parking charges.