Redbridge Sports Centre parking charges plan sparks outrage

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:53 20 January 2017

Redbridge Mini Games at the Redbridge Sports Centre.
Oakdale Junior School  V  Clore Tikva School ( Football )

Redbridge Mini Games at the Redbridge Sports Centre. Oakdale Junior School V Clore Tikva School ( Football )


A sports centre which sees thousands of residents walk through its doors each week will begin charging visitors to park on site.

Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre (RSL), Forest Road, Barkingside has offered free parking since it opened in 1972, but from next week will introduce number plate recognition cameras and “paying systems”.

Matt Reynolds, business development manager, said parking charges are a 24-hour solution to a 24-hour misuse problem. But regular users claim it will have a “knock-on effect” on the amount of people playing sport, pictured right.

“The centre has felt the need to respond to high levels of misuse of our private car parks, brought about by the introduction in recent times of charges at many other local car parks, rezoning of London Underground stations as well as increased use of parking restrictions along Forest Road,” said Mr Reynolds.

“These factors have combined to make RSL car parks an easy target for commuters who occupy space in our car park for free but who are not using the centre facilities, which in turn causes significant disruption to our users. The level of misuse reached the point that the car park was regularly full before 9am. So a decision was made to introduce a control system.”

But regular users, such as Sharon Smith, 41, secretary of Leyton Netball Club, are not convinced. They suggest permits for clubs could have been introduced instead.

Sharon told the Recorder: “We pay to train here, for affiliation costs, league costs and now parents will have to drop their children off, to watch them play in the cold and pay for the experience.

“It’s fair enough they (RSL) need to make revenue but there are better ways – such as a barrier at the front. It will have a knock-on effect and they should have considered talking to us first.”

Mr Reynolds said the initiative was about finding balance between curbing misuse and helping genuine users. He said that money generated from the tariffs will go towards car park maintenance.

RSL members will receive six hours of free parking a session and regular non-members can buy an annual pass at a cost of £25 per year for three hours parking per visit. All others will have to pay per use.

Latest Ilford Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

A piece from our Kick-Off pullout last week, which looks ahead to Woodford’s Town season

Yesterday, 16:00

A round-up of matches involving teams from Ilford Catholic CC

Yesterday, 17:00

The results from the NHS GP Patient Survey have revealed what the best and worst surgeries in Redbridge are.

Yesterday, 15:43

Dagenham & Redbridge have announced the signing of forward Noel Leighton after his release from Championship side Millwall.

Yesterday, 14:00

A piece from our recent Kick-Off pullout, where 19-year-old Josh Koroma discusses the influence of the Orient manager

Yesterday, 13:00

A round-up of the latest matches involving Oakfield Parkonians CC teams


An Ilford shoe retailer and podiatry practice is taking the next step with a move to a new shop just a few doors down.

Redbridge estate agents Sandra Davidson answer the common questions homeowners have when it comes to selling their home, and reveals how you can make sure the sale is stress-free

Redbridge Estate agents Sandra Davidson’s hassle-free service guarantees rental income for your property, whether it is occupied or not. Here they share details of the Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it can help you avoid the regular stresses associated with managing a let.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now