Outrage Over Parking Charges at Parks: “A Penalty on Healthy Living; Shifting the Burden”

National Parks has incurred much wrath from the public, after its move to charge fees for parking at carparks in public parks.

The public isn’t buying into its reason that the fees are aimed at regulating usage and preventing abuse.

People the Redwire spoke to say that most of the time, the carparks are empty.

They say that the “peak period” when carpark spaces are mostly taken up tend to take place in the morning, when families go these public parks for leisure or exercise.

Mr Yang KH says he has been visiting Pasir Ris Park every weekend for years and there has never been a parking problem.

“There’s always ample carpark spaces, so why is there a need to impose a charge? Is the government trying too hard to generate money that it has lost sight of why people go to parks in the first place?”

Ms Chew Chi En acknowledged that some vehicle owners might not be there to use the park facilities, but those are few and far between. She is a frequent jogger at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park.

“Sometimes there are taxi drivers who park there and switch on the air-con and sleep in their taxis. But so what? It’s not as though the whole carpark is filled with taxis. There’s enough space for everyone to share the place. We are gracious people, and we are here to keep fit so why everything also must penalise?”

Mr George Fu worried that this is merely a way of shifting the problem.

“OK suppose there really is an overcrowding problem, then what will happen when drivers have to pay? They will try parking at nearby housing estates lah, so isn’t that just a way to make this some other department’s problem?”

Sentiments appear to be similar online, where many netizens have criticised this move by NParks.

An automated fee system has been set up at 12 out of 18 parks, and charges have begun since the start of this month.

The fee is 50 cents for half an hour.

Amongst the parks affected are Choa Chu Kang Park, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Labrador Nature Reserve.

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