Barking Park parking plans slammed

John Phillips PROPOSALS to stop roadside parking inside Barking Park will cause chaos, a retired police chief has warned. Ken Luck, 79, said building two football pitches, a caf� and a teaching centre, while doing away with 200 roadside parking spaces, as part of this

John Phillips

PROPOSALS to stop roadside parking inside Barking Park will cause chaos, a retired police chief has warned.

Ken Luck, 79, said building two football pitches, a caf� and a teaching centre, while doing away with 200 roadside parking spaces, as part of this autumn's �6.4million revamp of the park in Longbridge Road, would be disastrous.

The former chief superintendent, of Tilbury Docks Police and member of Barking Park indoor bowls club, believes the revised car parking arrangements mean the park would not be able to cope with the extra influx of visitors.


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He also believes Barking and Dagenham Council bosses decided to downgrade parking to secure its �3.5million Heritage Lottery grant, which is going towards the 18-month park redevelopment.

Mr Luck, of Westrow Drive, Barking, said: "If there is no change, there is going to be a ridiculous amount of congestion and dissatisfaction.

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"I would like them to look at it again. Their planning is at fault."

The revised parking will see the two 45 and 100-plus space car parks in the centre of Barking Park replaced by two new parking areas.

A 55-space car park will be built near the bowling greens on the west side of the park, and an 80-space area about half a mile away, on the eastern edge of the park near South Park Drive.

Mr Luck believes this will force motorists to use the 80-space area as an "overflow" car park far from facilities in the centre and eastern part of Barking Park.

A spokesman for Barking and Dagenham Council said: "As part of the planned restoration of Barking Park the council consulted extensively with residents and park users, including the indoor bowls club.

"It was clear that the majority of people were concerned about the amount of traffic parking alongside avenues in the park. There was a popular desire for a traffic-free zone in the centre of the park for the benefit of pedestrians.

"With this in mind it was decided to relocate the existing car parks to the perimeter of the park and only allow maintenance and emergency vehicles into the centre. This work will commence early next year.

"There is a London-wide policy to move car parking out of the centre of parks. We anticipate that the new car parks will provide spaces for around 140 cars, which we believe is reasonable for a park of this size.

"However, we will closely monitor the situation once the work is complete.

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