PARKING charges across country’s parks in Essex are set to rise by up to 56 per cent.

Essex County Council has said its fees and charges for its country parks need to be increased to ensure additional budget pressures are not placed on the council.

The increases are set to see parking charges standardised across all seven parks that currently have parking fees.

The increases will see an 8.7 per cent increase at five parks, a 19 per cent increase at Danbury and a 56 per cent increase for one hour parking at Hadleigh where fees will increase from £1.60 to £2.50.

A new parking fee of £5.10 for up to four hours and an all-day tariff of £6.30 are being introduced for the first time.

A standard annual explorer pass which offers limitless parking at the parks along with 10 per cent discounts at many cafes and visitor centres is set to increase from £78 to £85.

A statement said the adjustment is made to “reflect the current rate of inflation”, saying the proposed fees have “an aim of generating additional income to contain inflationary pressures across the country parks service”.

It continued: “These increases will generate an additional c.£100,000 to offset against the cost of the Country Parks Service if visitor numbers and volumes remained the same or similar.”