Partial U-turn on parking charge hikes at London Aquatics Centre in Stratford
PUBLISHED: 17:31 15 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:30 16 February 2017
Olympic bosses have made a partial u-turn on hiking parking charges for users of a leisure centre after angry parents retaliated.
The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) today announced it would be slashing parking fees by half for members of the London Aquatics Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford.
However, users whose children are on the elite swimming and diving programmes are still worried they face 1,500 per cent parking rises as they are “not members” of Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), the body which runs the centre.
A spokeswoman for LLDC said a decision about users of the London Aquatics Centre Performance Programme (LACPP) and Tom Daley diving programme would be announced next week but the planning authority was “committed to providing affordable access” for all.
She said: “We have recognised the concerns raised by customers and have made arrangements for reduced rates to be introduced for London Aquatics Centre [Better] members using the parking facilities.
“This provides half-price parking for members for the first three hours and maintains the current rate for members parking between four and eight hours.”
However, Jonathan King, whose son Tom Reid-Gomez, 13, swims six days a week in one of the centre’s legacy programme, says he and other parents have been left in the dark.
He told the Recorder: “We are definitely not classified as Better members” adding he had reached “the end of his tether” last week with the whole process after writing an email of complaint to LLDC chief executive David Goldstone.
He added that he was still unhappy that today’s announcement had not referenced parents’ concerns about the scrapping of a free pick-up and drop-off point for parents located 30 seconds from the centre’s entrance.
From Saturday March 4, Better members will pay £1 an hour while non-members will pay £2 an hour. The maximum fee applied for both will be £20.
The initiative was originally marked for February 20 but delayed after complaints were made.
David Goldstone admitted to governement officials last month that the charges are part of a bid to make millions of savings in 2017/18.
LLDC has written to 8,000 members today about the changes but said only a fraction of people were likely to be affected with the majority of its users coming to the centre by public transport.
Parking for all users between 5.30am and 7am will remain free of charge, as will parking for registered Blue Badge holders.
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