The Great Parking Debate

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Spark, 14th Mar 2015.

  1. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    No you just personally attack people within the resort who are not allowed to reply on a forum to defend themselves.

    Thorpe have no greater right to charging for parking than any other theme park. And Towers do support the local community, their first responders cover the village, they helped fund a defib at the village hall and they sponsor various things in the community. Does that justify the parking charge.... No. but that’s not really the debate.

    And name one thing other than a relief road towers could do to help the traffic situation. The roads in that area are dictated by the historic landscape.

    As for escapism that’s mostly perspective. Some parts of the park do, others do not. There are a lot of “theme parks” out there that don’t even try.

    The park has plenty of bad to be talking about without the need to over exaggerate.
     
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  2. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Calm down....Doesn't almost every Theme Park charge for parking, both here and around the world? Doesn't almost every business try it on with surcharges that aren't actually what they're advertised for?

    Our bus company introduced a "Gulf war" surcharge in thr 90's, that never got removed.

    Business, politics, newspapers, all about lying really.

    At the moment i don't find the Parking charge too expensive, and i'm well aware it's not to fund a bypass, it doesn't state anywhere that it is anyway.

    I also understand that lies are everywhere in the world, i'm sure we all are.
     
  3. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Airport? Reopen Alton railway and plough through any homes since built in its path?
    Sorry but it's not going to happen and the park would have instated car park charges by now even if the road project never started

    Well, yes but anything we can do to reduce that would make it a better place for everyone in the end. Anyway, I think what the park really needs to do is reduce the ticket price and offer better value day out on the whole. As has been said this isn't really anything Alton Towers can decide unfortuantely, without mutinying from the overlords in Poole, who'd just fire them.
     
  4. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    I wish we could reduce the amony of Lying, but it works, the most powerful man in the world got into power only telling the truth four percent of the time.

    To be honest One day gate price is way to high, but the season passes and "Bring a friend for £15" or good value. I went multiple times last year with a few friends.
     
  5. Robert.W

    Robert.W TowersStreet Member

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    It’s true that, when you buy the season pass and visit more than once, it’s actually very good value for money. But it’s a problem for people who, like me, don’t live anywhere near the place (I’ve got a ten hour round journey every time I visit), and can’t make any more than one or two, or even three visits at a push every year, and thus can’t take advantage of the season pass.

    People should be able to visit just once and feel satisfied with their experience, and feel they got what they paid for without having to visit again to almost compensate for the lack of value in just one visit.

    To keep on topic, the parking charge. If the park itself provided a better value day out, without the need to visit more than once to get your moneys worth, then it would be fine. But when you’re not even getting what you have paid for, adding an extra parking charge on top of that is not a particularly nice way for already dissatisfied guests to end their day.
     
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  6. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    They could at least run more buses...

    The parking charge (and lack of public transport) penalises people visiting on their own. I shared a taxi with three people and it still cost over £15 each.

    I think it's okay for parks like Thorpe and Blackpool to charge because they're in built up areas. It's not okay for Alton Towers and all the Floridia parks to charge because there's plenty space available and no good public transport. I don't see how anyone can defend the parking charge as Towers have done nothing to improve the situation. Yes I'd love it if they reopened the railway line but even just a few more buses, running all year round, would be better than what we have today.
     
  7. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Public transport is not suitable for all, especially those with disabilities. There are no concessions for disable parking at Merlin parks.

    I never understand why it's only the Themepark industry that charges for parking. Except for Warwick castle, I don't know of any other attractions other than Themeparks here in the UK that charge for parking.
     
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  8. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    Disabled people should always have free parking. I just assumed that was the case...
     
  9. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I ain't getting public transport to Alton Towers from where I love no matter how good it could be! An hours journey would likely become at least 2 hours! And anyway, it's not like Alton Towers should be responsible for improving public transport to and from Staffordshire, this is the role of central and local government. You're not suddenly going to get lots more people getting to Alton Towers via public transport because there are a few buses put on from local train stations.

    Dave, you should know by now that common sesnse is not allowed on here!
     
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  10. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    It's a misconception, the blue badge is only actually valid on the main road. They are not valid for off road parking on private land. Private land parking is only class as concessionary parking and the blue badge rules don't apply, so charges may apply. A blue badge is not a licence to park anywhere and for free
     
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  11. MakoMania

    MakoMania TowersStreet Member

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    I don't quite understand this sentiment.

    I'm all for giving disabled people sufficient space and as little walking distance as possible, no problems with that at all. I've never quite understood why it should be free though. I guess the argument is that it is less feasible for many disabled people to use public transport, but the state of transport in this country is so dire and so expensive that 8 times out of 10 it is quicker and cheaper to pay a parking charge than to take public transport, this affects normal people as well as disabled people.

    For a lot of non-disabled people taking public transport is an impossibility. On my commute for instance, public transport takes 3 hours as it only runs in the peak of rush hour whereas if I drive in a bit earlier along a slightly different route it takes me 30-40 minutes. I still have to pay for parking, even if taking public transport is impossible for me to afford or have the time for.
     
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  12. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    As an able body person, I have a choice whether to park near to a venue and pay for premium parking or to park 10 to 20 minutes walk away for cheaper or for free and walk to the venue. The latter is what I usually do.

    A disable person with mobility problems may not be able to walk the the distance to park further away, or may have medical equipment on board the car which they may need urgent access to, so choosing to park at an alternative place or use public transport is not an option. A disable person with mobility problems may also take longer to walk, so where they park in a pay per hour car park, they may need to spend more money on parking than an able person as they require more time. Setting up Jess' wheelchair takes me 20 minutes and the same again to pack it away. So we would normally spend 40 minutes parking before we actually go anywhere.

    Also there are disable people that don't have the use of their hands, so can't operate a pay/ticket parking machine, but can drive a car due to a specially adapted car.

    These are the reasons why free parking was introduced for the disabled
     
    Last edited: 20th Feb 2019
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  13. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    I know it varies from person to person but if you're using a disabled space you probably spend more on a wheelchair, modified car, taxis etc. Considering how inconvenient not being able to walk must be, I don't mind subsidising their parking.

    In an ideal world all public transport would be accessible and disabled people wouldn't need to drive, but that's a very long way away
     
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  14. MakoMania

    MakoMania TowersStreet Member

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    I absolutely understand the need to have close and convenient parking, I am absolutely supportive of that. I just feel that the 'free' aspect of it is a little unjustified (through no fault of disabled people I might add!).

    Public transport is not an option for most people, disabled or not. So whilst it is right that disabled people be given priority in close and convenient parking, I don't understand why everyone has to pay more in order to fund free parking for others (again, absolutely not the fault of disabled people, if I had the option of free parking I would take it as well :p).
     
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  15. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    The argument about free car parking for blue badge holders is, with respect, irrelevant here, as Alton Towers charge all guests coming by car for parking. The difference is a car with a blue badge holder(s) in is entitled to park in the Premium Parking area by the main entrance for the normal £6 parking fee.

    I think there are two main reasons why Towers / Merlin charge all guests for parking (irrespective of disability). The first is "because they can", as it's private land. The second probably comes down to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). A few rather vocal disabled groups campaigned for this law to give disabled people as much equality as possible to their able-bodied counterparts. As such, many businesses that did offer concessionary rates for disabled visitors abolished them as this was sort of positive discrimination in favour of disabled guests.

    By charging disabled guests the standard £6 fee to park, Merlin are treating them the same as their able-bodied counterparts, whilst recognising that they need their car to be closer / more accessible to the main entrance. (Also, the monorail is not really suitable for wheelchairs, particularly the larger motorised scooter type ones).
     
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  16. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    I think Towers actually do have a role to play in supporting public transport. While the government and stretched councils provide buses, given the sheer volume of people wanting to visit Towers, the money raised from the car parking should go into green schemes, such as a park and ride, or enhanced bus services.
     
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  17. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Help and support, yes. Be responsible for, I am not so sure. Unfortunately I do not think there is any real desire from either side to make public transport improvements.

    A park and ride scheme is interesting and something that has been mentioned before. I do not see it happening, but if it were too, would people be happier paying say £6 to park in a car park just off the A50 around Uttoxeter and take a bus to the park than they would be in paying £6 to park at Alton Towers?
     
  18. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Should be noted that in many city centres the disabled parking that is free is also limited to 2/3 hours with no return within 1 hour (or however much the gap is)...

    In a way as a result it's more limiting that say going back to the pay & display machine for street parking to add another 20 minutes as you have to vacate the spot and hope somewhere else has one, which is a nightmare in some cities...

    Besides, the free aspect is to negate the problems many with disabilities might have in terms of distance or heights or general ability to access certain areas... But these are Council based decisions (some even give out free bus passes to blue badge holders), and you're probably not considering the effort it is for those to go out and apply for a blue badge...

    In terms of theme parks it's up to them if they want to charge for the privilege, as the blue badge (as mentioned) only extends to the public highway... This is why many NPC car parks charge for disabled spots at the same rate...

    I will in the future be interested to see how European parks deal with blue badges/disabled parking...
     
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  19. SuperMuscleMan

    SuperMuscleMan TowersStreet Member

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    No just a regular comprehensive and reliable bus route. Maybe with a mainline station that meams visitors from a far can easily have an alternate option to visit. Rather than worry being stuck or having to leave early.

    I really think you dont get it. You attacked my opinions while my comment was at a wider business and not to an individual. Anyway. A defibrillator is great and im sure the tiny investment is nothing compared to having to sit in traffic jams on your doorstep on a regular basis.

    Thorpe have on place a regular bus service and is easily accessible by other modes of transport therefore I support charging for environmental reasons. It was never implemented as a reason to give money to the local road network.

    My point is that the towers should have never dressed it up in the first place. If you wanted to drive when there was excellent public transport id be very happy for towers to charge £15 a day to park. The impact on others and the environment would then be minimal.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 21st Feb 2019
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  20. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    Not everyone has the privelage of being able to drive. The existing bus service is a kick in the teeth to people like me. Why should non drivers miss out on valuable park time and either have to leave early or be left waiting for an hour after park close, depending on whether it's a 4pm or 5pm close that day?

    Sorry, this is getting a bit off topic. Towers have done nothing to improve traffic/transport while continuing to charge for parking, and that's a poor show Imo
     
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