Parking fines: Rule changes explained in full in February
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Visitors to Ringstead Bay in Dorset fear the £6 charge at a private car park, five minutes walk from the attraction, will harm the area’s tourism industry. The fee is a flat rate, regardless of duration spent at the car park and payable upon entry.
The car park owner has been accused online of “fleecing tourists at the expense of locals.”
And staff at the adjacent kiosk cafe, which serves meals, snacks, and drinks, and is separate from the car park, say they “get grief for it”.
One tourist wrote online: “Atrocious car parking fee and you are accosted by cafe staff for payment before you have even finished parking. £6 flat fee – pricing locals out of enjoying their own local area for short walks, so therefore will not support this local business again.
“Should be a variable car parking fee. Would recommend using the National Trust car park instead. Very poor, just aimed at fleecing tourists at the expense of locals, and it’s not even peak holiday season.”
A more recent review suggested there should be a varied pricing structure based on how many hours visitors want to stay, reports Dorset Live.
He wrote: “Very disappointed that this off-the-map location charges an extortionate fixed £6 parking fee. Before the engine was off money bags was there demanding we pay, this could be easily solved by having fees which only apply for a few hours instead of the whole day.”
However, some reviewers have been more sympathetic regarding the £6 parking charge, with one person calling it a “bargain” and welcoming the choice of car parks. She commented: “All those moaning about the cost, just drive straight back up to the top and walk down – people are always wanting everything for nothing!”
One tourist who recently visited Ringstead Beach believed it was a small price to pay to bypass a longer coastal walk. He said: “I didn’t know the car parking fees until I got there but I was happy to pay for it. It was either park at the National Trust car park, walk a mile down and end up at the beach or pay a little more but be closer to the beach and a cafe.
“It’s up to visitors whether they want to pay for it or not and they are free to pick where to park.”
Dorset Live has attempted to contact the owner of the car park for a comment.
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