Rushmere Country Park

Posted 19 March 2021

Changes to parking are on the way at Rushmere Country Park with the introduction of a new ANPR parking system will help us deal with increased pressure we are facing on the site - the new system, operational from Monday 19th July, will allow us to offer a tiered pricing system to replace the current daily fee and will ease queuing on exit. 

The Greensand Trust is a Registered Charity whose charitable objectives are to protect, conserve and enhance the area for the benefit of everyone, and we at Rushmere Country Park, in conjunction with our Partners at Central Bedfordshire Council, have sought to maintain access for our visitors throughout this most challenging of periods.

Rise in numbers brings added costs

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the various restrictions imposed, Rushmere Country Park has experienced significant rises in visitor numbers, bringing increased pressure on our infrastructure, increasing our costs, whilst also restricting our ability to generate revenue.

Although we continue to encourage visitors to come on foot, by bike or bus where possible and not to park locally, the impact of the increased numbers continues. When the site reaches capacity our entrance signs automatically indicate that the car parks are full and prevent access - this had led to some vehicles seeking to queue rather than move on as required, resulting in significant disruption to local residents and the surrounding roads. We would like to thank Central Bedfordshire Council, for providing security at peak times in an effort to stop queuing on Linslade Road and this has eased the situation considerably in recent weeks.

Parking improvements on the way

Rushmere’s parking infrastructure was not designed for the current level of visitors, leading to queues of vehicles trying to leave or enter at peak times. To address these issues we have invested to make improvements, and will begin to implement a number of changes to our parking systems over coming months, which will transition our parking system from pay on exit to a faster, more responsive automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system with new tiered parking charge.

This we hope will improve the site's overall capacity and flow of visitors in and out of the park and the parking charges will relate better to visitors' needs providing options for short, mid and long term stays.

We have also completed works to increase the available parking, whilst continuing to protect more sensitive areas which are vulnerable to traffic.

New tiered parking charges will come into effect once the new system is installed (19th July 2021) and will be as follows:

Payment will be either by using the free Flowbird app available in your App Store or onsite using machines located near both visitor centres where you can pay by card or cash. You will need to make sure you pay before you exit.

Greensand Parking Pass increases

From 1st April 2021 the Greensand Parking Pass will increase to £60 and £66 (Gift Aid option) in only the second price increase since 2011 - this equates to just £5 per month (or £1.15per week).