Queen builds MUD barriers at Sandringham estate, removing free parking

Queen builds 3ft MUD barriers along the road leading to her house in Sandringham, removing the last stretch of free parking on her Norfolk country estate and forcing visitors to pay £7 a day to park

  • Last remaining stretch of free parking at Sandringham Estate has been blocked 
  • Mounds of dirt are piled on the one-mile stretch of road to the Royal Residence 
  • Official parking for two hours is up to £3.50 from £3 it used to cost just last year
  • Parking was free until October 2019 when visitor facilities were redeveloped

The Queen has built 3ft high mud barriers that stop tourists parking along the last stretch of free parking on her Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Her Royal Highness, 94, has piled mounds of earth in six lay-bys along a one-mile stretch of road leading to her residence, preventing people from parking there.

It means all visitors to the estate must now park in the official north and west car parks, which used to be free but now cost £3.50 for up to two hours.

Parking for two hours is up from £3 it cost just last year and visitors are set back £5 for up to four hours and £7 for all day. 

The Queen has built 3ft high mud barriers that stop tourists parking along the last stretch of free parking on her Sandringham estate in Norfolk

Most of the grass verges were blocked off 18 months ago and now the lay-bys, which each fitted around six parked cars, have been closed off too. 

The mounds, known as bunds, started being deployed in February 2020 and grass has since grown over some of them. 

They present an obvious barrier to most cars which have forced the drivers toward the two official car parks.

Regular visitors to the estate furiously protested about the parking charges when they were introduced and accused the Monarch of profiteering from her subjects. 

Sandringham Estate announced in October 2019 car parking charges were to be introduced as part of a redevelopment of visitor facilities

In the past, hundreds of people parked their cars along the long grass verge so they could visit the 20,000 acre Royal estate, which is open to tourists from April to October.

Many also parked there when they visited to see the Royal family attending the church on Christmas Day.

The charges have been introduced due to a rise in visitors and the money will be used to pay for the increasing cost of maintaining existing facilities.

One local resident said: ‘The public has had free access to Sandringham for 100 years and I think it’s disgusting that we now have to pay to visit.’

The Queen (pictured at Royal Australian Air Force Memorial in Egham) has just been granted permission by King’s Lynn Borough Council to expand the west car park from 416 spaces to 600 spaces and become the size of three football pitches

Another resident added: ‘The estate used to serve the community by providing free access to the grounds, now there are so many tourists and so costly it’s not the same. It’s hugely disappointing.’

The estate announced in October 2019 car parking charges were to be introduced as part of a redevelopment of visitor facilities.

Anyone paying for admission to the museum, gardens or house when they are open during the summer months can avoid paying if they give their car registration number to staff at the ticket office.

Annual tickets costing £40 will also be available, offering unlimited parking and free admission to Sandringham House for the holder.

The mounds present an obvious barrier to most cars which have forced the drivers toward the two official car parks

It comes as the Queen has just been granted permission by King’s Lynn Borough Council to expand the west car park from 416 spaces to 600 spaces and become the size of three football pitches.

The controversial scheme will involve removing 100 trees, including mature Sycamores, Norway Maples, Beech and Scots pine, some of which are more than 100 years old.

The Sandringham estate is owned privately by the Queen and was inherited from her father.

The Queen stays there every winter until February 6, the anniversary of her father’s death and the House is also used by other members of the Royal family.

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