Tourists to be charged extra for Bourton-on-the-Water parking

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Cotswold District Council said Bourton-on-the-Water's facilities were put under "severe pressure" as more people stayed in the UK for their holidays last year

A parking charge for Cotswolds tourists is to be introduced for the first time, in response to the "detrimental impact" of a "large increase" in visitors.

People will be charged an extra 50p for parking in Rissington Road car park in Bourton-on-the-Water from 8 March.

Cotswold District Council said the increase in visitors had caused a negative impact on the area "in some cases" and residents had complained.

But a village business owner feared the charge would drive tourists elsewhere.

The council estimated the charge will generate about £25,000 a year.

A survey has now been launched to ask people what they would like the additional income to be spent on.

The council said the charge would be restricted to one car park which, it said, was used mainly by tourists.

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Cotswold District Council says Rissington Road car park is predominantly used by tourists and funds raised from the charge would be invested in the village

The authority's deputy leader Mike Evemy proposed the scheme, which has been approved by the cabinet.

"There was a lot of parking on the verge last summer, clogging up the roads," he said.

He hoped the funds would provide more bollards, bigger bins and more signage to inform visitors when car parks are full.

Bob Hadley, director of Bourton's tourist information centre said the extra income would be welcome.

"It'll help with the natural wear and tear because you have to maintain the river bank itself, the river walls, the turfing on the green, which obviously over a year does get a tremendous amount of footfall," he said.

But gift shop owner Carol Teece said she was concerned the charge would cause tourists to go elsewhere.

"Cirencester is a tourist destination, Stow-on-the-Wold is, Moreton-in-Marsh is. Why pick on Bourton?" she said.

"All you're trying to do is frighten the tourists away. I get very agitated about it all. It makes my blood boil.

"I think it's wrong and they're going to go elsewhere."

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