This article is sponsored by Yorkshire Water.
Yorkshire Water is planning to introduce car parking charges at three reservoirs in North Yorkshire – Fewston, Swinsty and Thruscross – on a trial basis.
Since making the announcement this morning Alastair Harvey, lead countryside and woodland advisor, wanted to explain the proposed charges, why they are being implemented and what it is hoped the trial will deliver:
“Yorkshire is blessed with fantastic outdoor spaces, including reservoirs owned and operated by Yorkshire Water.
“Over the last two years, people looked for outdoor spaces to enjoy time with their family and friends when permitted. So we’ve welcomed more people to our sites than ever before.
“Unfortunately, this period also saw an increase in anti-social behaviour at our sites. Instances of fly-tipping, the lighting of disposable barbecues, littering, vandalism are on the up.
“All of these hindered the enjoyment of our sites for visitors and posed safety risks.”
As a result, Yorkshire Water decided to introduce its first ever in-house ranger team. A total of ten rangers will be recruited to patrol, manage and maintain the reservoirs.
The rangers will be able to provide information to visitors and enhance their experience. They will also be able to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Parking charges will fund new ranger team
Mr Harvey added:
“We have thought long and hard about the introduction of these charges.
“We believe we’ve catered for all types of visitors we see. Whether they are looking for a day out or to visit every day to walk their dog.
“As well as improving security and safety at our sites, the parking charges will also be used to fund a variety of conservation, community, and facility improvement projects.
“The funds will help us increase our work with charities and community groups. It will also help wildlife to thrive on our sites.
“All of this will ensure the money visitors spend on parking is invested directly into the sites they use to further improve their experience.
“Ultimately, we hope that during the trial we will see incidents of fly tipping and antisocial behaviour decrease; making these sites safer and more enjoyable for people, and more wildlife friendly too.
“Likewise, we hope that the charges will encourage people to at least consider travelling via public transport, cycle paths, and walking routes rather than by car.”
Yorkshire Water already sponsors the Dales Bus Service, which provides a specific bus route through the Washburn Valley, on Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays.
If planning is approved for the parking meters, charges will start at £1 for an hour, £2 for 2 hours, £5 for all-day parking of £30 for an annual pass.