Thousands of people are opposing a proposal by Cornwall Council to start charging for parking in popular woods.
The local authority has announced plans to introduce parking charges at Ponsandane car parks in Penzance, South Drive, North Cliffs and East Lodge in Tehidy, Gwithian Towans and Permarin in Penryn.
Families who regularly use the popular Tehidy Woods near Portreath say the move could cost them up to £60 a month.
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They described the news as another hit for people on low incomes or struggling with rising bills.
A petition to oppose the plans had reached 4,796 signatures at the time of writing.
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It reads: “Cornwall Council proposes to start charging for parking at Tehidy Woods and extend the order to Gwithian Towans in accordance with the Off-Street Parking Variation Order 2020 (Ref 2077).
“In my opinion this is a disgusting decision on the part of the council as one of the areas of the UK with high rental prices and generally low rates of pay it will affect many households who are already feeling the pain. Many locals use the woods to help with their general well-being and it’s one of the few free-to-go places left for all generations to enjoy.
“As a county, we have suffered endless council tax hikes above the national average, but we are seeing very little in return that ANYONE can enjoy. The woods should be left as they are and not require no further intervention by Cornwall Council, it would only detract from its appeal.”
Mimmy Hardman, a local mum-of-three, has calculated that if parking charges are applied she will have to spend £15 a week to get to Tehidy Woods.
She said: “We use the woods for exercise and education. We spend hours in the woods.
“These places are absolutely crucial now more than ever. We need these free and safe spaces to take our children to. ‘I can’t afford to go into the woods’ are words that should never go out of the way. anyone’s mouth.
“It’s a truly magical place for them, they spend hours there. To have to sit there looking at the clock instead of watching them is heartbreaking. It’s all about their memories. That’s where they learn , that’s where they grow up and it has to stay like that.”
Mimmy said the plans would also have a ripple effect on childminders and activity groups that use the woods.
You can view and comment on the proposal here.
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