A WOMAN has taken up the battle against car-parking charges at a popular Halifax tourist spot.
Christine Booth, from Lightcliffe, collected almost 600 signatures in just six days from people opposed to fees for parking at Shibden Park.
The Courier reported in January that Calderdale Council was introducing parking charges at a number of sites, including Shibden.
Mrs Booth, a former employee at the Shibden Hall estate, said: “I started the petition because a lot of people were grumbling to each other about the new charges – but nothing gets done.
“I have been going to Shibden Park since I was a child and have taken chidlren, grandchildren and other people’s children to visit.”
The cost to park at the popular visitor attraction is £1 per car for the day, which increases to £2 at weekends, school holidays and bank holidays.
Mrs Booth said it is this rise that was motivating people to stand up against the charges.
“It is the doubling of the fee that people are objecting to,” she said.
“They can go to other parks for free.
“The charge is also affecting businesses and facilities in the park.
“There are things like the train line and the cafe where families already spend money.
“For young families who go regularly, the cost can soon add up.
“The majority of people I spoke to asked for no parking charge at all.
“The expense of upkeep should be coming out of our council tax.”
Mrs Booth handed in her petition at Halifax Town Hall and has written to the leader of the council, Janet Battye.
She has also written an open letter addressing all councillors about the issue.
Mrs Booth said she feels a close connection to Shibden Hall, having worked as an education workshop leader there before retiring in August last year. The retired teacher said she was worried the estate could suffer as a result of the charge.
She said: “People are saying there are a lot more cars at Manor Heath Park now, where you don’t have to pay to park.
“I hope it doesn’t stop people coming to Shibden as it is one of the most beautiful places to spend a day in Calderdale.”