Car Parking

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Enter Valhalla, 25th Mar 2014.

  1. Enter Valhalla

    Enter Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    Sorry if this has already been discussed, but has anyone noticed that the road next to the park entrance gates (where quite a few people ussed to legally park for free) now has yellow lines painted and wooden posts all the way along to stop people parking there?

    I drove quite a way up there and it's all the way down that road, there's also very few other free parking places nearby. I do wonder if Merlin paid for this to be done in order to get more people paying to park :mad:
     
    Posted 25th Mar 2014
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  2. Wilsy

    Wilsy TS Founding Member

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    I can't imagine the people who live on Wooton Road enjoy visitors restricting their access, you can barely fit one car down there as it is!

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk
     
    Posted 25th Mar 2014
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  3. Enter Valhalla

    Enter Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    I dare say you're right, I was just speculating whether it was the locals who paid for this due to the inconvenience which it caused them or if it was paid for by Merlin to make more money.

    Either way it does sadly mean that I'll be visiting Alton alot less this year. I used to fiind that road very conveninent for parking. Due to my work schedule, about 70% of my visits last year were just for a few hours (say 2:30 till 5 after work), I'm sorry but there's no way I'm paying £6 for a couple of hours parking.
     
    Posted 25th Mar 2014
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  4. Wilsy

    Wilsy TS Founding Member

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    I'm sure plenty of people parked down there making sure they weren't causing issues for the locals, but there will always be a few idiots who ruin it for everyone else!

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk
     
    Posted 25th Mar 2014
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  5. Enter Valhalla

    Enter Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    Indeed, which is why I didn't park there at the weekend, there is a very small section at the end with no wooden posts which I could have just about squeezed into but I would have been in everyone's way and there would have been no room for other cars to park. In the end I had to go in and pay which i resented doing as I was only actually in the park for just over 2 hours.
     
    Posted 25th Mar 2014
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  6. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Maybe get a MAP that includes parking then?
     
    Posted 25th Mar 2014
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  7. Enter Valhalla

    Enter Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    And pay extra money JUST for something which merlin used to offer for free to all AP holders? No I'm alright thanks ;)
     
    Posted 25th Mar 2014
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  8. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    I think with the winter sale on, the difference between the standard and premium passes was not much at all, so if you visit regularly, it makes sense to have the parking included on your pass. I disagree with the cheeky parking charge too, dont get me wrong, but, i'd rather park in the car park and not on the side of some narrow road where the car might get whacked!
     
    Posted 25th Mar 2014
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  9. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    If you've paid £20+ to enter the park and potentially £10-£15 on top for food and drink is £6 really that big of a deal?

    Don't get me wrong, no ones a fan of the parking charge but it's a charge that has been around for a very long time. Not exactly a shocking revelation... and parking in the local area can be very disruptive. Measures such as the yellow lines ensure guests at Towers park on-site, it keeps a healthy relationship between Towers and the local area.
     
    Posted 25th Mar 2014
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  10. IanB

    IanB TowersStreet Member

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    You are visiting a Theme Park, that is built next to a small village, which already struggles to cope with demand (Alton Village) at the best of the times. Why should they be providing free parking to anyone but locals?

    Theme Park guests parking in the local villages and then walking to Towers is only going to upset the locals more, and hinder future development of the park.

    I doubt Alton Towers had anything to do with the yellow lines, and that it was the locals who asked for them, so I think your anger at them is misplaced, and should be aimed at people like yourself. I would of thought paying an extra £20 (In the sales, £40 normally) to make the lives of the locals better, and save your self the inconveniences of having to drive around looking for a space, and then walking to the park is well worth it?

    Ian
     
  11. Enter Valhalla

    Enter Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    To be perfectly honest, if the parking charge wasn't so expensive, i wouldn't mind paying it, but £6 for a couple of hours parking just isn't something I'll be willing to pay on a regular basis. Last season I did after work visits to the park a couple of times each month and parked on the road. Yes Ok, you could say this was a little cheeky of me to do this as that road is not intended for that purpose, but I would also point out that there were no parking restrictions on this road at all and not even any signs from locals or the park asking people not to, it was perfectly legal for us to park there.

    As I say if it was, for example, a £3 charge like at Chessington I probably would pay it (although I'd still begrudge having to do so since it used to be free). £6 is just too much for a 2 hour visit.

    What anger? I'm not angry at anyone- park, locals or otherwise. I was just saying that it's quite inconvenient for someone who doesn't visit the park for full days and that I'm not willing to cough up £6 twice a month or more for a few hours parking at a place where it used to be free.

    It was actually far more convenient for me just to park on that road as it's right next to the entrance and saved me having to spend time getting the monorail. Another annoyance, I'm now having to pay £6 to park in a less convenient place. I would not want to annoy the locals at all, I always parked considerably there and the one time that I couldn't find a space I drove in and paid rather than parking somewhere awkward.

    And no I would object both on principle and practicality to having to pay £20-£40 for an upgrade as this would be the ONLY benefit I'd get from owning a premium pass as I would not be interested in the other benefits. It should be free to all AP holders, it always used to be.

    I get that the £6 charge is for all day parking, so why should I have to still pay it if I arrive at 2:30-3:00. Maybe Alton Towers could introduce an After 2pm charge of £3. I'd certainly pay that. £6 for a couple of hours though? Forget it! I'd much rather just go up to Blackpool where there's plenty of alternatives to the BPB car park including roads with free parking all day.
     
  12. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    The easiest thing to do in future is visit for more than 2 hours.

    Visiting Towers for a few hours after work has only ever been financially viable for those who hold an annual pass (that includes parking). I doubt they have many guests without passes (or without a premium/AT pass) that visit for a few hours to warrant lower charged parking - and it would be a nightmare to implement a system that can check who has been parked for 2 hours and who has been parked for 8 hours.
     
  13. IanB

    IanB TowersStreet Member

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    You used the angry Smiley at the end of your initial post, which is why I assumed you were angry about the changes :)

    The parking was never free if you think about it. There was still money that come out of Towers budget to cover it, now there is just a separate charge for it, rather than it been covered by the ticket price.

    Sadly, you can not build a theme park, without a car park, and you can not have a car park, without buying additional land.

    The current solution is to charge £6 per car. That means if there is only 4 people in the car, its only £1.50 per person, which is not bad. If your on your own, then of course your paying the full price.

    Ideally, IMO, the ticket price should include the parking, but how much do you put tickets up by to cover the parking charge. £6 per ticket for the instance where one person is in a car, or £1.50 per ticket for where 4 people are in a car. Or do you make it £3.00 as 90% of people use BOGOF vouchers.

    So based on that, I think it makes sense to have a separate charge. It also means Hotel Guests, and PAP holders can be given additional perks.

    Ideally, you would want to pay for parking at the start of the day, and this would allow for reduced parking to be offered for late arrivals. The problem with this is that the queues to the car parks in the morning can already be out of the gate, and taking a payment for parking at the same time, would just increase this issue, which leaves the only option to pay on departure.

    So what ever option they choose, it has a negative effect on guest experience. I guess the current solution generates the least number of compliments, requires the least amount of investment, and allows perks to be offered to guests.

    Ian
     
  14. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Ian - the parking charge has nothing to do with the land. It was originally introduced to go towards funding the relief road.

    Those plans got scrapped, but the parking charge stayed, and increased each year.
     
  15. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    That's capitalism for you, same reason that Cadbury bars are smaller and now Coke have replaced 2 litre bottles with 1.75 litre bottles. Prices will always rise if a company think they can get away with it.

    I am really not surprised that Alton / Farley / Staffordshire (not sure which would have made the decision) Council added yellow lines. At Fireworks time they add police no parking cones all over the lane outside Alton Towers.
     
  16. IanB

    IanB TowersStreet Member

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    I know that Gary, but where did the money for maintaining the car parks come from before? It came out of the theme park budget, so it would of still been factored in to the ticket price.

    Ideally now, the maintenance of the car park should be coming out of the car park charge, allowing the gate price to cover the park.

    Sadly Merlin don't run their parks this way, although who really knows how they run the finances of their parks.

    If you were to build a new park, you could not just buy the land for the park, you would have to buy the land for the car park as well, so you need to factor that in to recoup that cost.

    Ian
     
  17. Enter Valhalla

    Enter Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    Yes but my point was that it used to be free for all annual pass holders, now it's only free for those with a premium annual pass.

    Anyone with a standard annual pass now has to pay despite the fact that many only visit for a few hours after work, school, college etc. It's likely that I will only visit for full days now to avoid having to pay £6 a time, unless I can find somewhere free to park for the afternoon. That means considerably less visits for me this season and therefore I wont be gettign the same value out of my pass which I used to.
     
  18. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    How many times do you normally visit the park in a season? If it's more than 4 in a season (for sale) or 8 (for normal price) then you've already saved money for yourself by buying a premium pass just for the parking.
     
  19. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    You knew when you bought the standard annual pass that parking wasn't included. The pricing hasn't suddenly changed this week, its been at least 2 years since only premium passes had parking included. If you are thinking of making more than 7 trips this season then just pay the £40 upgrade to Premium.

    If they hadn't introduced the premium pass I think there would only be one price for passes, then all passes would be at the premium price. think of it as standard passholders getting a discount compared to before the split.
     
  20. thefatone

    thefatone TowersStreet Member

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    Definitely think this is the wrong place to moan about the lack of free parking which was obviously going to be withdrawn eventually due to people using it anyway.

    Plus, if Premium didn't exist more than likely the main pass would've been more expensive than it is now. Or we could always have a Pleasure Beach style of pass where it costs you half your years salary for one park.
     

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