PLANS to install pay and display parking charges at Heaton Park have received a mixed reception from visitors.

The changes, set to be introduced on May 21, will apply from 10am to 5pm seven days a week.

Since it was announced the move has provoked anger from some visitors, however many see the charges as a good trade-off for improvements and upkeep.

One visitor, who had travelled to the park from Stockport, said: "We haven't been here for a long time and I didn't realise that they were introducing charges. So I'm glad it's not until May 21.

"I would say some parking charges can be for the better. It depends on the rates and punishments if you don't pay them."

She also said she believed that the introduction of the charge reflected the impact that government cuts were having on local authorities, meaning that "amenities have to raise revenue elsewhere".

She added: "It shows that all people do to raise money is charge people. Couldn't there be more creative ways to raise money?"

As part of the plans, charges of £1 for up to one hour, £2 for one to three hours and and maximum charge of £3 for all day, will be introduced.

A new system will also come on line offering payment via cash, credit or debit card and the PayByPhone app — which can be used to pay or top up at any time after arrival at the park.

The new methods will replace manual collections by staff at entrance gates, which can cause lengthy queues at peak periods.

The charges have prompted fears that visitors numbers to the park could drop now that people will have to pay for parking all year round, rather than just on certain holidays.

Another visitor, Saeedeh Sadi, who had travelled to the park with her family said: "I don't think it will be good for the park to charge because it is a public park. It's better for everybody if it is free, especially because a lot of people who have children visit the park."

Andrea Dridelli, who lives off Middleton Road, said she does not agree with the parking charges.

She added that she believes it is doubly unfair for people living in Manchester, as they also contribute to the upkeep of the park through their council tax, unlike neighbouring Prestwich residents.

Ms Dridelli said: "I think Manchester residents should get a reduced rate. But I do like what they have done with the Lake car park because it was a disgrace before."

The proposed parking charges are being accompanied by improvement work to the park's car parks — including creation of dedicated disabled bays for the first time.

Full resurfacing works on Lake car park were also completed in April this year.

Despite opposition to the changes many visitors were more accepting of the new charge.

Carer Gemma Ball, who was visiting the park with a woman she looks after, said: "I think the charges are probably going to be a good thing and it's putting money back into the park.

"It may put some people off, but if you are there all day it's only a maximum of £3. Everywhere we go we pay a lot for disabled access anyway."

Her sentiments were echoed by visitor Parco Navarro, who said: "If the money is going to the park then I think it is a good thing."

Marta Solarek, who was visiting with him, added: "If it's a few pounds for the day then I would pay it."