A group strolls through Derby Reach Park in north Langley. A recent report from Metro Vancouver indicates that use of the riverside park dropped dramatically in 2014. Part of the reason may be that a shortage of parking has shifted visitors to other parks.

Derby Reach park visits drop by 232,000, Metro report says

Parking shortage blamed for plummeting attendance at Langley riverside park, the biggest drop in visits among Metro parks

A  new survey shows a dramatic drop in visits to the Derby Reach park and campground in Langley, from nearly a million in 2013 to just over 750,000 in 2014.

According to a just-released Metro Vancouver report, the 23.5 per cent drop is the biggest loss recorded by any of the parks operated by the regional authority.

It also goes against a trend that has seen visits at all parks increase an average of four per cent a year, rising from a region-wide total of around five million visits in 1994 to 11 million in 2014.

The Metro report suggests the drop is due to a “parking scarcity [that] may have shifted visitors to other parks.”

That conclusion has been questioned by Township councillor Bob Long, who is the vice-chair of the Metro Vancouver parks committee.

“I would have my doubts [about those numbers]” Long said.

“There’s an awful lot of people who walk in there [and may not be counted as a result].”

The Metro report says the information about visits to the riverside campground and recreation area at 208 Street and Allard Crescent was collected using counters installed on roads and trails.

The online tripadvisor.ca website gives Derby Reach generally high rating but at least  one visitor complained about a lack of parking.

Derby Reach Regional Park is located on the original townsite of Fort Langley.

Derby’s Edgewater Bar is popular with anglers and the park is the only Metro Vancouver regional park that offers overnight vehicle and tent camping at 38 riverfront sites.

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