Car Parking at Railway Stations

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by ajs, 28 Aug 2019.

  1. ajs

    ajs Member

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    On the bank holiday Monday, l parked in a car park at one of the SWR stations and paid the fee by means of the ticket machine.The only option available was all day peak parking. There was no option for off peak parking charges. As the railways were operating "of peak" on the bank holiday I was expecting the car park charge to be at the off peak rate as well. I am taking this up with SWR but in the meantime , any thoughts?
     
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  3. ashworth

    ashworth Established Member

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    Exactly the same happened to me a few years ago at Chesterfield. It was on one of those days between Christmas and New Year when Off Peak fares were available all day as at weekends. I had only used Chesterfield Station car park previously on a Saturday and I was quite shocked at the high price I had to pay to park.
     
  4. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    The machine at Grateley used to charge for regular weekday parking when on a bank holiday, probably to save the hassle of trying to program the pay machines to understand the concept of bank holidays. Although I noticed when walking home last week the new signs have public holidays at the new increased weekend rate (£3.50 instead of £2, even charging on Sundays when previously it was free, First are getting greedy).

    Depends what the signs at the car park say, if you have been overcharged (like I've had happen at Salisbury on bank holidays in the past) then you can claim back the difference.
     
  5. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    Which ticket machine specifically? Was it a 'car park only' ticket machine (where all you can do is pay for car parking), or the station's TVM (ticket vending machine) for rail tickets which usually also offer the option to pay for car parking?

    For what it's worth, the pay by mobile phone facility - where available - can often be used to sidestep issues with uncooperative ticket machines in such circumstances, as it's more likely to be set up correctly to identify and charge for bank/public holidays.

    (Though I did recently come across a case of a pay-by-phone system failing to correctly charge for on-street parking at the post-6pm flat evening rate - I think it suggested that parking was actually free at this time, so anyone relying on that could have found themselves the recepient of a rather unwelcome PCN! So a counter example of where the ticket machines were set up correctly, but the pay-by-phone system was not.)
     
  6. rick9525

    rick9525 Member

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    Different situation but the Prices at Stockport Station NCP are horrendous at the weekend as it’s £16:30 to park for the day or even just for a few hours (Same a weekdays). At Piccadilly it’s only £6 all day at the weekend which is a fair price. On the rare times I need to park there I end up using others nearby but for people who don’t fancy a walk it’s very expensive. It’s never full.
     
  7. sw1ller

    sw1ller Established Member

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    Genuinely shocked at this. I had to check their website as I couldn’t believe there’s a carpark that charges more than a tenner a day! And it seems your charges are out of date and it’s now £17.50!! For 4 hours+!! That is horrific and shouldn’t be allowed. Not for a station carpark anyway. Something needs to be done about that.

    Edit

    Ignore my naivety.... just found one in London for £40 for 4 hours! This is why I don’t have a car anymore! You’re squeezed out you hard earned cash from every angle.
     
    Last edited: 1 Sep 2019
  8. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    A lot of Virgin Trains stations are £12 for a day I believe. Certainly Preston, Carlisle, Lancaster are.
     
  9. gtis

    gtis Member

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    The two stations that I use have free parking ,swinton South Yorkshire and wombwell
    Neil
     
  10. cb a1

    cb a1 Member

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    Unless someone is somehow being forced to use that car park, then why does 'something need to be done'? If I think the price of say olives in Watirose is too expensive, I can choose to shop elsewhere or not buy olives at all.
     
  11. Class83

    Class83 Member

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    To encourage rail use, it should be easy for passengers to get to the train station. Provision of secure, well lit and CCTV covered bike parking should be a priority, along with local bus services timed to connect with arrivals and departures.

    However, provision of parking helps as while trains are good at getting large numbers of people into cities, they're not great at stopping next to everyone's house. There are essentially 3 classes of station I can see.

    1: Rural/suburban/small town stations where a free car park is provided, but not used by non-rail users or overcrowded to a level that makes charging necessary.
    2: Major City Centre Stations, where no car parking, or limited expensive parking is provided in line with local non railway rates. e.g. London Terminals, Edinburgh, Manchester.
    3: Intermediate sized towns which are commuter and/or intercity railheads but also limited commercial and shopping centres in their own right. These stations should have car parks with a charge, but some or all of the cost should be refundable against a train ticket to discourage non-rail users. Examples might be Milton Keynes/Falkirk for commuters, or Warrington/Doncaster for Intercity.
     
  12. gaillark

    gaillark Member

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    Bank holidays and Sundays. Park on a single yellow line or within a CPZ near to the station for free but always check with local council beforehand for parking enforcement on bank holidays or Sundays.
     
  13. Justapunter

    Justapunter Member

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    SWR will just say that car park is outsourced. The outsourcer will just say network rail set the charges. I raised that at Guildford it says full rate for motorcycles now. It was free. And guess what, the real full rate for motorcycles is £2 not the sixteen quid or so for cars. But it doesn’t say that anywhere. Their signs are misleading. I suspect it is a happy accident for the car park operator......

    Car parks on SWR have rocketed in cost. As most of their fares seem the regulated. Off peak parking used to be post 0930 or so. Now it’s post 1600 or 1630 at many stations.....
     
  14. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    I'm waiting for SWR/APCOA to do away with the "your parking ticket is valid until the last train" rule for stations where the last train doesn't arrive until after midnight, and instead introduce a "the parking ticket expires at midnight, if you plan to stay beyond midnight you need to buy another ticket" style rule they have on some GWR car-parks. Enforced by ANPR cameras with lovely invoices dropping in the post if you dare leave the car parked until 00:30.

    The number of commuters parking on the side of the road just outside the CPZ seems to have skyrocketed lately, commuters wanting to avoid paying the higher rates
     
  15. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    Exactly, when the cost of rail-heading is too high then I just drive to my destination. Apart from weekday visits to London this means that I usualy drive everywhere outside the reach of a local bus.
     
  16. Cuboid

    Cuboid Member

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    I park at New Pudsey station which is an open plan 500-space car park. Currently free and hope it will remain so in the future.

    I seem to remember there was a fuss a few years ago after Northern were thinking of introducing parking charges for it (probably because they got asked to contribute to expand it to 500-spaces) but they backed down.

    If anyone knows the station then it's quite useful (apart from getting out of it) for a 'park-and-ride' style system and nothing else since the actual town of Pudsey is up a massive steep hill at least half to a mile away. Only useful for commuters.
     
  17. eMeS

    eMeS Member

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    Years ago parking close to Milton Keynes Central was no problem, and if I had to go into London for a meeting, I easily found a place - normally in one of the surface car parks. I've been retired for two decades, and CMK is much more heavily used than when I was working. Not only are all surface slots filled, but also the multi-storey by the station, and the newer overflow multi-storey is full before the 10am watershed when lower fares are offered to London. At last another new multi-storey is being built to the south of the station.

    The latest thing I've noticed is that surface bays close to the station (and new sports ground) and the railway boundary fence are now being monitored throughout the day, so the "free parking" after 7pm no longer applies.
     
  18. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    That happens at some GWR stations? Not good.

    Though the railways - and it's not just SWR that operates the 'last train rule' - would do better to just explicitly state that paid parking expires at say 4am or something, rather than having car parking tickets that state validity until 2359 (or the pay by phone app equivalent) which can only cause confusion.
     
  19. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    There is currently an agreement for Northern not to charge at West Yorkshire commuter stations to encourage patronage of rail. New Pudsey, Apperley Bridge, Kirkstall Forge, Crossgates all provide good park and ride facilites.

    I can't however see the free situation lasting, especially when Leeds LEZ comes into force and drivers are potentially faced with a charge for driving into Leeds. The issue with New Pudsey is if you charge there on street becomes an issue, but restrictions are in place on surrounding streets. The natural solution is to drive a couple of miles to Bramley (which has a tiny car park) and park on street causing problems for residents in that area.
     
  20. Class83

    Class83 Member

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    This is silly though, as if you increase the cost both of driving into Leeds LEZ and of taking the train, people will simply do whatever is most convenient (presumably driving if this is what they currently do) and grumble about the price down the pub afterwards.
     
  21. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    When our local LUL station car park was Pay & Display the tickets had a technical 23:59 expiry but nobody checked until the start of traffic the following day. Now it has ANPR the expiry has, fortunately, been changed to 4:30 or thereabouts.
     
  22. Old Yard Dog

    Old Yard Dog Member

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    I wonder what car parking will cost at Leeds, Manchester or Birmingham HS2 stations? Not to mention Euston!
     
  23. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    Why charge between 21:00 and 05:00 anyway. For the few cars there why bother?
     
  24. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    I think the best chargeable car park I've seen when travelling around the network was at Battlesbridge on the Southminster line. The car park had 5 spaces plus 1 disabled bay and charged the pricey sum of 50p for all-day parking. Why bother when it would cost more to employ someone to drive round to check the cars had valid parking tickets and more money to check the machine.
     
  25. geoffk

    geoffk Established Member

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    I think DfT gave Northern the choice of parking charges or evening peak ticket restrictions and they chose the latter.
     
  26. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    Because parking charges are a money-making racket ??
     
  27. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Because at some stations it’s not ‘a few’. At my local station there can be several hundred cars parked up at 2300, and often we’ll over 100 there all night.
     
  28. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    so if you are going to be away overnight, what do you buy from the pay and display ticket machine?

    (Say I am getting an early train in the morning, returning evening the next day)
     
  29. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    A two day ticket. Or pay by phone the next morning.
     
  30. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Indeed. A decision to penalise the rail users who are non-drivers in far greater proportion than those of us who use buses, bikes, or our feet to connect with train services. Absolutely appalling policy if you ask me. Of course now more and more car parks are getting charges in addition to the considerably higher ticket prices. It is all part of the government's evil plan to squeeze the rail user for every last penny.

    Ultimately, I think it is more important for fewer people to be driving to railway stations and more people to be getting there by bus or active modes. I cannot see any sign of this happening with the current government, and while it would be mutually beneficial to both the bus and rail industries the cooperation that exists between them is very minimal at present.
     
  31. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    When you pay by phone, you get asked how many days you wish to pay for parking for.
     

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