Residents are expected to live with the consequences

SIR – An open reply to the letter about KGV car parking charges consultation

Dear Mr Barlow [Finesse chief executive Mike Barlow]

I have just received a letter from Finesse proposing to charge stays at King George V Playing Fields (KGV) of three to five hours at �4 and over five hours �6 (the same charges as the QE2 Hospital).

This is apparently ‘not about generating income for Finesse’ (heaven forbid) but is designed to encourage hospital employees, who make up the majority of the 46 per cent who park at the KGV for more than six hours, to park at the hospital.

Noble aims, but given your lofty ambition is to ensure that the ‘proposals do not mean that vehicles park on the local streets’, I cannot think of a more certain way of ensuring that this will be the case!

In recent years, local residents have seen the efforts QE2 employees will make to avoid what is, for most people, a significant cost, eg. the chaotic parking on Ascot Lane which required significant cost to add additional road safety markings and create more off road parking.

It strikes me that most observers of human nature will come rapidly to the conclusion that also charging �6 for parking at KGV will encourage staff to park further up surrounding roads. This will create a slightly longer walk for employees, but day-long inconvenience for local residents.

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Adding more facilities to the KGV creates more demand for overall vehicle parking in the local area and while I appreciate the intention to get KGV users to park at the KGV and QE2 staff at the hospital, I cannot see how this proposal benefits local residents.

Rather than trying to fleece hospital employees and visitors, then expecting residents to live with the consequences, it is high time that Finesse, Welwyn Hatfield Council, the PCT and other interested parties sat down and developed a more sensible and co-ordinated plan on local parking in the area.

Peter Domican,

Moorlands, WGC.