PARKING charges at country parks in Essex are set to rise by up to 56% in the hope of raising an addition £100,000.
Fees needed to increase to cover costs associated with the operations of the car parking facilities, Essex County Council said.
It will also standardise charges across all seven parks that currently have parking fees.
A statement on the plan said the increase reflected “the current rate of inflation”.
The rise will see an 8.7% increase at five parks, a 19% increase at Danbury and a 56% increase for one hour parking at Hadleigh, where fees will increase from £1.60 to £2.50, the Local Democracy Reporting service said.
A new parking fee of £5.10 for up to four hours and an all-day tariff of £6.30 are being introduced for the first time.
The standard annual Essex Explorer pass, which offers limitless parking at the parks along with 10% discounts at many cafes and visitor centres, is set to increase from £78 to £85.
The pass is designed to encourage people to explore some of the places and green spaces the county has to offer.
A statement on the rises said it would allow the country parks “to continue delivering to the same standard without increasing the cost of doing so to the council”.
It hoped it would generate an additional £100,000 “if visitor numbers and volumes remained the same or similar”.
The statement added if the charges were left at the current level “this would result in a budget pressure and alternative options would need to be considered”.