BREAKING: New Outdoor Swimming Fee Announced
Swimmers across the country are waking up today to news of a new fee brought in to charge for all outdoor swimming.
The controversial new fee has been brought in throughout England (not Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) and will apply to any swim in a lake, river or even the sea. The new £5-per-swim fee will apply from today. The new fee comes on the back of a surge in participation in outdoor and open water swimming.
Charges for outdoor swimming are not uncommon. In many managed, specialist open water swimming venues around the country fees can range from £5 to £10 per swim. Recently, charges have increased at London’s Hampstead Heath Ponds, which was free until 2005, when a £2 fee was introduced.
However, the new charge in England goes much further. The new £5-per-swim fee applies to all outdoor swims, anywhere, including in the sea. The fee is operated on the basis of an honesty policy and swimmers will need to register and pay for each swim online within 24 hours of their swim taking place.
Critics have labelled the plans confused and unworkable. Following the announcement of the new fee last night, social media erupted in condemnation. Questions were raised about what constitutes a swim, whether there is a charge for paddling and whether there were lower fees for children, concessions or any off-peak rates? It is also unclear whether the new outdoor swimming fee applies for organised events.
Government spokesperson, A. P. Rilfool declined to comment on the mechanics or detail of the new outdoor swimming fee system.