COUNCILLORS are pushing for a “temporary” upgrade to Recreation Ground car park to ensure it is ready to welcome visitors over the summer.

The car park came up during discussions about tourism by Fordingbridge Town Council last week.

At a meeting last month, the council agreed to contact New Forest District Council about using Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money from developers to improve the car park and ask about the possibility of introducing charges.

Councillor Mike Jackson said the town needed to be ready for an influx of visitors once lockdown restrictions were lifted.

He said: “I just feel we have got the tsunami about to hit us. Once the infection rates start dropping and there is a bit of relaxation people are not going to go abroad they are going to be wary and going to look to get out when the weather is a bit better. People from London and the south east are going to head south west and come up to Fordingbridge and the New Forest and we will be inundated with people. I just feel we should be considering the car parking options because last year we didn’t.”

He suggested doing a “temporary” upgrade on the car park so “there could be more parking” at the Recreation Ground but realised there was a “cost implication” and said CIL money could be used.

Mayor, Councillor Edward Hale described the current state of the car park as “gravel and potholes” and said: “It would be great if we could just get it resurfaced using some of the CIL money."

“It would provide us with quite a lot of extra parking," he added.

Councillor Paul Anstey said during the summer people coming to the Rec would need parking and if there could be a “temporary fix” for the summer it would give the town council time to consider a more permanent option. He said there was space for around 80 cars in the car park

The need for car parks in the town to properly signed to ensure visitors did not park on the streets was also flagged by Councillor Brian Perkins.

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