In early 2019 we announced that we were going to consider introducing charges for parking across the site. From November 2019 – 10 January 2020 we ran a survey, and a series of drop-in sessions, so that we could find out more about how the proposal might affect your use of the Park and Palace and the wider area.
Feedback from the survey and our discussions with residents, stakeholders and partners were fed into the proposal, which was considered by the Alexandra Park and Palace Statutory Advisory Committee (SAC) and Consultative Committees (CC) on the 1 September. You can read the minutes here
Following feedback from the SAC & CC, the Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust Board was presented with the final recommendations on 14 September 2020 and approved the implementation of the car park charging scheme subject to approval from the Charity Commission.
In October 2020 the Charity Commission gave their approval and granted an order that gives The Trust the authority to charge for the use of the car parks.
We are now working on an implementation strategy, with a view to parking charges being in place from 2022 onwards. The donate-to-park scheme we currently have in the car parks will remain until formal charging is implemented. This scheme supports our recovery from the financial impact of the pandemic and the Charity’s ongoing and increasing financial obligations to care for the Park and Palace.
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The main reason for introducing parking charges is financial. It costs £3.6million a year to keep the Park and Palace safely open to the public, and with increasing costs and a backlog of repairs, we need to find new income streams to ensure we can continue to deliver our charitable duties.
We also hope to reduce the cost of managing and clearing up after frequent antisocial behaviour on site, particularly in the car parks, that we believe car park charging and improved car park management infrastructure will help us to achieve. Charging for parking is a fair way of funding the upkeep and delivery of our objectives that benefits everyone as well as car park operation and maintenance.
This is a proposal and no decisions have yet been made. The charity needs to apply to the Charity Commission for permission to charge if we wish to progress the proposal. If the proposal is progressed it could be introduced at some point in 2020, but there is no definite timetable beyond this opportunity to provide your feedback. At this stage, we want to get your feedback on how the proposals could impact you before we proceed any further.
All monies raised from car park charges, as with all income raised from activities on site, would go directly towards the charitable purposes – to repair and maintain the Park and Palace and to deliver great experiences for everyone. We could use the income for a range of things including:
We have taken independent advice from a sustainable transport planning and research consultancy (Integrated Transport Planning Ltd). They have proposed a tariff structure using information from comparable venues and parkland, on-street parking charges locally and shopping parking, whilst at the same time taking into account our context, operational requirements and the range and visitation patterns of our users.
The charges will apply 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The first 30min will be free. Blue Badge holders will not be charged. We do not wish to encourage long stay or overnight parking.
The first 30min of parking will be free of charge. A ‘no return’ time condition will apply to prevent people circulating unnecessarily on site.
No, they will be the same 365 days of the year. It is important to ensure we are consistent with charging. Parking is currently free of charge, but it is not free for the charity to provide, and the car parks still cost us money on non-event days. Event-day costs of parking are covered by the event income.
We are proposing cashless payment options, both on site and remotely. This reduces the risk of theft of machines, and also gives the flexibility of paying later (up to two weeks after parking on site). We do want to get your feedback on this however, as some of our visitors may still like to pay with cash. We encourage you to complete the survey.
We know that some visitors to the Park and Palace park on streets around our site’s perimeter. This is partly due to the lack of parking controls in those streets, and partly due to convenience – some entrances provide more direct access to some areas of our site than the designated car parks.
We will consider impact of any proposal on surrounding streets, and are encouraging local people to complete the survey so that we can hear any views that they may have on this. It is important to point out that the local parking demand situation is complex – we know from recent survey work undertaken that parking on local roads cannot be attributed to APP alone.
During events, we manage the car parks and flow of traffic to minimise congestion along Alexandra Palace Way. We encourage visitors to travel to site sustainably, and for certain events we have a shuttle bus running between key transport points and the Palace. We will continue to do this.
If we install Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras on Alexandra Palace Way, we will be able to monitor if this is happening. If this becomes an issue, the charity could apply enforcement action across the whole site, not just the car parks themselves.
All vehicles will be charged to park on site for longer than 30min.
Yes, we need to provide consistency for our visitors.
Before any work started we set out criteria to ensure that any proposals respected the site, met the needs of the charity and its operation and the wide range of uses and users. The criteria were used by ITP to assess different parking management options. The criteria included:
It costs £3.6million a year to maintain the Park and Palace at a level to ensure it is safe for the public to use. The Trust generates around 50% of its revenue funding from events and activities on site. The rest is funded through grants and other fundraised income, none of which is guaranteed. All of the income received by the Trust is spent by the Trust delivering our charitable purposes.
ITP have undertaken research on comparable sites – cultural / heritage / events venues such as Hampstead Heath, Hampton Court Palace, the O2 and Greenwich Park – all of which charge for parking. The research included more local parking charges as well (i.e. around Muswell Hill and Finsbury Park). We don’t believe there are other similar sites to Alexandra Park and Palace in London that don’t charge for car parking.
We need to remain competitive to attract events and visitors to come here. If we price ourselves too highly, event organisers will go elsewhere and we will lose the income from them. We have to look at other options for increasing income generation beyond the current uses.
We are keen to hear your views on the proposal, in particular, how the introduction of parking charges could impact on our visitors. We would encourage you to complete the survey.
Despite being in an outer London location, Alexandra Park and Palace is well-served by public transport. The perception is that it is hard to get to, because it is on top of a hill. A regular train service runs from Alexandra Palace Station; the W3 bus runs from Finsbury Park to Northumberland Park, with three stops along Alexandra Palace Way; and you can reach central London on the Piccadilly Line in 20min.
Alexandra Park and Palace is a charitable trust. Providing parking for free comes at a cost to the charity (c£400,000 a year). This money could be better spent on maintaining and repairing the building and parkland, which would enable more of the Palace to be enjoyed by the people, our beneficiaries.
We want to ensure any parking charges ultimately provide a net benefit to people’s experience of the Park and Palace, by investing any money generated from the charges into improvements across the site. Our proposal so far has options to ensure people can still use the car parks for no, or minimal, cost. We’re keen for people to tell us how the proposed charges will impact them, so that we can find the right outcome.
We have a grounds maintenance contract to cover the day-to-day maintenance of the Park. There is a small budget for reactive maintenance (i.e. broken drains, lampposts etc.). There is no other funding for improvement projects in the Park.
Combining this with the projected population increase in Wood Green and surrounding areas in the next 10-20 years, the pressure on the Park as a vital green open space for North London will only increase.
The work that ITP have undertaken has indicated that parking charges could generate upwards of £550,000 per year. This would cover the day-to-day management of the car parks, and provide much needed income to maintain and repair the Park and Palace.
No – we are not adding any car parks. Some works may be required to reconfigure some of the car parks, to meet modern car parking standards, but this work will likely result in a reduction of spaces, not an increase.
No – the proposal does not include nor require any works to trees in the Park.
The first 30min will be free to allow enough time for drop-off, waiting time, and pick-up.
The proposed technology (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) will allow for discretions to be applied if required. We are open to suggestions, so would encourage you to complete the survey and use the free-text fields to give us your thoughts on this matter.
If you are parking on site in order to walk your dog in the Park, and you are here for longer than 30min, you will have to pay for parking.
It is not our intention to charge staff to park. We have a green travel plan and encourage all staff to use public transport wherever and whenever possible. It is not our intention to charge our volunteers who donate their time and expertise to the charity.
All vehicles take up car parking spaces, therefore having the same financial impact, regardless of whether they are local residents or not. All vehicles will be charged to park on site for longer than 30min. The approach taken will however benefit the charity by increasing income from visitors from outside the local area.
Event visitors are no different to other visitor groups; they are enjoying the facilities and activities, provided by the charity, for the public to enjoy. It is important that we provide consistency to all of our visitors.
The Alexandra Park Club and Garden Centre each have their own parking. Both of these car parks are managed by the leaseholders of these premises.
We will be talking to the leaseholders about how the proposals may impact and benefit them and the wider site, with the aim of discouraging displacement into their car parks to the detriment of visitors to their facilities.
Alexandra Palace is the People’s Palace – run by a charity for the benefit of everyone. Recent times have been tough, and our very survival has been at stake. Whatever the future holds, we are working harder than ever to be here for you now and long into the future. Click here to find out how you can support. Thank you x