Peers Bid to Scupper [Pounds Sterling]1 Fee for Parking in Royal Park

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Byline: Nicholas Cecil Chief Political Correspondent

THE row over new parking charges for two Royal Parks escalated today into a Lords showdown.

Peers resorted to a parliamentary procedure that has not been successful since 1974 in an attempt to kill off plans to introduce parking levies in Richmond and Bushy Parks.

Drivers would be charged [pounds sterling]1 and 50p an hour respectively and face fines of up to [pounds sterling]80 if they failed to pay.

The Liberal Democrats and Tories say the charges will price the less well-off out of Richmond Park and lead to parking chaos in streets outside its gates at weekends and holidays.

The charges are so unpopular with many residents near the parks in key marginal seats that they have become a general election issue. More than 1,000 people joined a protest against them in Richmond Park at the weekend.

The Tories, who are considering whether to back the Lords move, are seeking to oust Lib-Dem MPs from a number of seats. …