Parking charges revealed for Wicor Recreation Ground as consultation launched and fierce opposition remains

The charges which will be given to furious football supporters who wish to attend their own stadium have been revealed.
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Fareham Borough Council (FBC) bosses approved the reclassification of Wicor Recreation Ground as a coastal car park on April 3 – which would implement fees which had been increased only 16 months after they were first introduced. Opposition to the charges has been fierce, with a petition calling for the proposals to be scrapped reaching 1,796 signatures.

Many of these objections were from club representatives and supporters of Wessex League Premier Division side AFC Portchester, who use the ground as their home. The club issued a statement last month which condemned the charges, describing them as ‘grossly unfair’ and an ‘extra tax’ on the health and wellbeing of players, supporters, residents and other members of the public.

Wicor Recreation Ground car park in Portchester, Fareham. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121180-843)Wicor Recreation Ground car park in Portchester, Fareham. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121180-843)
Wicor Recreation Ground car park in Portchester, Fareham. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121180-843)
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The club recently called for varied prices at the weekends while football matches take place and for fresh traffic regulations for Cranleigh Road and surrounding streets to ease traffic and parking.

FBC launched a consultation on the proposed charges yesterday. The costs have been reduced at the weekends and are lower than other coastal car parks in the borough at those times, but given the opposition which still remains, many stakeholders will see it as a bittersweet gesture.

Between Monday and Friday, it will cost visitors £1.10 per hour between 10am and 6pm if the charges go ahead. At the weekend, it will cost £1.10 for one hour, £2.20 for four hours or £4.40 for 8 hours between 10am and 6pm.

Residents have until June 9 to voice their opinions about the proposed charges. The consultation survey can be accessed via the FBC website.

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Executive member for health and public protection councillor Joanne Burton, of Sarisbury ward, Conservative, said: ‘Income from our car parks is essential for ensuring that they remain fit for purpose and available for as many visitors as possible. I would urge residents to have their say on the proposals before the consultation ends on June 9.’

As reported by AFC Portchester, councillors Paul Nother and Chrissie Bainbridge, of Portchester East, reiterated their opposition to the scheme and are calling for it to be reconsidered.