Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust intends to implement charging in its car parks in 2022. Following consultation in 2019 and extensive planning and preparation work, we are now finalising our implementation plan. It is expected that car park charging will be in place by Spring 2022.

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 anti-social behaviour on site, particularly in the car parks, that we believe car parking charges 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.

For further information about the car park charging project please see the FAQs below or contact us via visitor.services@alexandrapalace.com

FAQ

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.

We are currently aiming to implement the car parking charges in Spring 2022.

All monies raised from car park charges, as with all income raised from activities on site, will go directly towards our 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:

  • Repair projects in and around the building, or upgrades to Park infrastructure and planting;
  • Bringing more spaces back into use for the public to enjoy, new attractions and facilities;
  • Improvements to the car parks;
  • Our creative learning programme, so a wide range of people can continue to learn about, enjoy and benefit from the Park and Palace

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.

Daily Tariff Band Tariff £
0 – 30min Free
30min – 1hr £1.50
1hr – 2hr £3.00
2hr – 3hr £4.50
3hr – 4hr £6.00
4+ hours £8.00

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 throughout our planning process have encouraged local people to let us know their views. 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 Alexandra Palace 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.

All vehicles will be charged to park on site for longer than 30mins.

Yes, we need to provide consistency for our visitors.

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 2020. These committees are made up of local people, local community group representatives and local Councillors. You can read the minutes here

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:

  • Any proposed tariffs must be affordable and not unintentionally deter people from visiting and benefiting from the use of the Park and Palace;
  • Infrastructure requirement of the system must be minimal. The location of the car parks in a parkland setting combined with the non-parking uses of some of the car parks necessitates that they are kept free of unnecessary obstructions;
  • Access and egress flows must not be impeded – this is particularly important given that at times large volumes of traffic need to enter or exit the site and the system should not increase queuing time or congestion on AP Way;
  • Cashless payment should be promoted, as the Trust is working towards cashless payment across the site. Holding high volumes of cash is seen as a safety risk;
  • Enforcement should be remotely conducted – the Trust is keen to eliminate the risk associated with officers undertaking manual patrols. Remote enforcement will be cheaper and more effective;
  • Upfront costs should be minimised – the Trust has limited funds and the main stated objective of introducing parking charges is to generate income to fund the delivery of the Trust’s charitable objectives.

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.

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 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.

Following feedback from the Alexandra Park and Palace Statutory Advisory Committee (SAC) and Consultative Committees (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 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. Throughout our planning process we have encouraged feedback from people who regularly use the car parks, or feel the proposals will impact them in some way.

The proposed technology (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) will allow for discretions to be applied if required.

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.

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