|Chiswick House Parking Charges Agreed|
Fees will discourage commuters say Trust
New charges for parking in the Chiswick House car-park off the A4 could be introduced soon. The Trustees of Chiswick House and Gardens Trust is seeking to deter rail commuters using the car-park, which is currently free, claiming that almost half the current spaces are taken up by people who are not there to visit the house and gardens.
The charges, which would operate from 8am-6pm seven days a week, would allow for a 50p charge for 30 minutes, and £1 for a two-hour visit.
The measures, which were proposed by the Trust back in 2009, were agreed by councillors at the Chiswick Area Committee meeting last Tuesday (November 15th) and will go for final approval to the relevant Council department.
The introduction of charges is likely to increase parking congestion in the surrounding residential streets near the entrances to Chiswick House in Grove Park, where parking is currently free. Demand for the car-park is likely to increase with the recent re-opening of the nearby Hogarth House .
The director of the Chiswick House Trust, Sarah Finch-Crisp, said introducing parking charges was anticipated as part of of the business plan agreed for National Heritage Lottery funding through which the House and grounds, including the car-park, had been refurbished and improved. In a report to councillors, she stated the car-park contained sixty spaces which were often taken up by rail commuters and airport travellers instead of visitors to Chiswick House. A Service Agreement had been signed with Hounslow Council and charging boxes installed last year but the Trust was still waiting for the matter to progress.
The car-park is also used by a local Scout group and by the Will to Win tennis club and discussions have been held in relation to providing a free space for staff and volunteers for both of these users of the site.
Councillor Paul Lynch (Conservative) said at present nearly half the spaces (47%) were taken up by commuters and it was very dangerous for visitors to the House, unfamiliar with the area, to have to try and drive onto the busy A4 again and circle around looking for parking.