Sandringham won't charge for parking at key events
PUBLISHED: 09:28 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:17 11 October 2019
Officials at Sandringham Estate have announced its controversial parking charge will not be enforced at some of the park's most popular events.
Parking will be free for events like Sandringham Flower Show and the game and country festival, and those visiting at Christmas will also not be charged.
The parking charge was introduced in order to fund development work on the country park's visitor centre and cafe.
Sandringham visitor services manager, Garry Marsden said: "The flower show has its own dedicated car park, so that's separate, events and activities that happen here at the country park charges will still apply at all times on both of the two car parks.
"Christmas day is the day that it wouldn't apply, a little Christmas gift, about 3,500 people come on that day and the cafe opens and we ask for some nice volunteers to come in and do things like cleaning toilets and picking litter on Christmas day, so this would be an exception.
"At other times we would be looking for the car park charge here but we also have other events like the game and country festival and the food festival, parking will be in a different location and nothing to do with the charge."
Many have claimed the royal family can afford the improvements themselves, Mr Marsden said that while he understood some disappointment, the estate was a business.
Mr Marsden added: "It's understanding that Sandringham, like Balmoral, is a private estate and it is privately funded and owned by Her Majesty the Queen, so it receives no state funding or anything of that order, and it is a business in its own right, it survives and employs all the people that it does through its activities such as farming, visitor enterprises and property so those are the three things that bring an income in.
"So like any business, there's a cost and we have to look at that year-on-year and say, if we can't do what we would like to do then we need to look to generate funds and with half a million people coming to the country park every year for 50 years there has been no charge."
Parking will be included in the cost for those that buy a season ticket to the grounds.