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Merlin Entertainments Group plans to introduce a parking charge for Annual Passholders across its range of UK theme parks, including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, LEGOLAND Windsor and Chessington World of Adventures.

Towers Times reports that terms and conditions have been added to the Standard Merlin Annual Pass, which covers entry to all of the chain's UK parks and attractions. The most significant of these is the introduction of parking charges for Standard Passholders, which have been previously been waived for all passholders.

The move means that those holding a Standard Merlin Annual Pass will now face parking charges of up to £5 at Merlin attractions. Alton Towers already charges this amount, and Theme Park Tourist understands that Thorpe Park is due to increase its current £2 charge to match for the 2011 season. LEGOLAND Windsor currently charges £2, while Chessington World of Adventures is also reportedly set to begin charging for parking in the near future.

The new stipulation, which states that "attraction parking fees are not included", effectively amounts to a price rise for all Standard Annual Passes. Although not yet confirmed, it is believed that Premium Annual Passholders will not face the additional charge.

A range of other terms and conditions have been introduced on Standard Annual Passes, including restricting entry for passholders to LEGOLAND Windsor during August to after 2pm. Predictably, these have not gone down well with existing passholders, with many complaining on the company's official Facebook page.

What do you think of Merlin's decision to introduce parking charges for Annual Passholders? Let us know through the comments section below.

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Comments

Just a quick note that Legoland already do charge for parking, and have done since July last year. Was introduced at £1, quickly (within a month) rose to £2, and I wouldn't be surprised if they rise it to £5 next season to match Alton and (potentially) Thorpe...

In reply to by Mark B (not verified)

...by which I meant July this year :P.

In reply to by Mark B (not verified)

Doh - good spot, thanks Mark. You'd think after being fleeced for £2 we'd have remembered. Corrected above.

I love going to Alton Towers but it really annoys me having to pay £5 to park- it is a rip off! Let's be honest how many people go to Alton Towers and don't drive? For annual pass holders it is a big rise and takes away one of the big perks.

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