Durlston Country Park to bring in new way to pay for parking

An automatic number plate recognition system to pay for parking is to be introduced at Durlston Country Park in Swanage.

Over the last few months there’s been a few issues with the current parking machines and they’ve regularly not been working, so now the new method of operating is to be introduced.

Parking machine at Durlston Country Park

The current machines have not always been working

Automatic number plate recognition system

A camera will record the registration number of all vehicles entering the car parks.

When leaving, the vehicle owner will need to enter the registration number into one of the two new payment machines and it will calculate the payment that needs to be made.

Friends of Durlston who pay an annual membership of £20 for an individual or £26 for a household get a substantial discount off the price of parking, as well as a discount in the Seventh Wave cafe plus other benefits.

The new machines in the car parks, owned by Dorset Council, will accept payment by card, cash or online.

car aprk at Durlston Country Park
car park at Durlston Country Park

There’s several car parking areas at Durlston Country Park

“Reduce the burden on the rangers”

A spokesperson for Durlston Country Park said:

“The system will be able to automatically recognise Friends of Durlston and volunteer number plates enabling the special rates to be applied.

“This new system will be operated by an outside company, which will reduce the burden on the rangers. And ensure everybody takes part!

“This system should be up and running by December – hopefully sooner.

“So, not knowing how long you would like to spend at a countryside site and having to buy a pre-paid parking ticket, can mean shortening your visit before you are ready to leave. The new ticketless system being installed at these sites allows you to pay at the end of your visit.”

This will mean that everyone using the car parks will have to pay or risk receiving an automatic fine.

Durlston Country Park
Stone wall at Durlston Country Park

Stunning views and the impressive restoration of the park make Durlston a popular place to visit

New electric vehicle charging point

Separately, an electric vehicle charging point is being installed in one of the car parks. This is alongside other recent eco measures like solar panels, LED lighting and a heat pump in Durlston Castle.

The new 22 kW electric vehicle charging point at Durlston is one of many new charging points that are being installed across 23 locations in the Dorset Council area. Other sites in Purbeck are:

  • West Street car park, Corfe Castle
  • Purbeck Park, Norden car park, Corfe Castle
  • Streche Road car park, Wareham
  • Bonnets Lane (East) car park, Wareham
New Electric charging point at Durlston Country Park

Work has started to install an electric vehicle charging point at Durlston Country Park

“Part of our response to the climate and ecological emergency”

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said:

“By increasing the provision of electric vehicle charging points, we hope to provide the essential infrastructure needed to encourage more car owners in Dorset to choose electric vehicles over petrol and diesel equivalents.

“Travel is one of the biggest contributors to our county’s carbon footprint, so, as part of our response to the climate and ecological emergency, it’s vital we make the changes needed to help tackle this.”

Further information

  • More about parking at Durlston Country Park and Friends membership is on its website

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