REVISED entry prices for a popular visitor attraction will still hit some families hard a local councillor has claimed.
Parking charges at the Leeds City Council-run Lotherton Hall are currently £3.70 and access to the bird garden and grounds are free.
Entry to the hall is £3.30 for adults, £1.20 for children and a family ticket is £6.50.
Under the new structure, which has been revised after initial feedback from local people said the proposed increases were too high, visitors will pay a single price to park and visit the Edwardian house as well as the bird garden and grounds. Adult entry will rise to £5 (initially proposed as £6) and a family ticket will be £15.
Coun Matthew Robinson (Cons, Harewood ward) said: “As local councillors we support the improvements planned for Lotherton Hall and recognise that these fee increases will help to pay for those. When the proposals were announced in the summer, we felt the charges were too high, and represented the views of those who contacted us.
“We’re pleased that in these difficult times when wages have been frozen that the increases have now been re-considered which will be particularly pleasing for those on fixed incomes.
“It’s also good news that short stay coach trips who use Lotherton cafe as a tea/lunch stop and all cyclists will be allowed free entrance.
“However, these are still significant increases and I feel the council could have gone further to strike a balance between the improvement costs and the burden on visitors.
“We only need to look at what happened when charges were introduced to previously free events like Opera in the Park and Classical Fantasia.
“We need to make sure people are still encouraged to visit this terrific Leeds attraction and are not put off by excessive charges – and that the prices are reviewed regularly.”
LeedsCard and LeedsCard Extra holders will get discounts. An off-peak charge for parking-only will be introduced at £3.70 or £15 for a season ticket.
The new charges, which will be introduced on January 1, will help fund improvements to Lotherton Hall including the restoration of gardens, more picnic and play areas, improved car parking, a new pay and information point and better signs.