We read an article in the June 2009 edition of the British Parking Institute’s magazine titled “Is rail parking on track?” which addresses the issue of commuter parking at railway stations. Interestingly the article states that passengers leaving their cars at train stations is second only in the environmental stakes to getting there by public transport as this only requires 2 vehicle trips (as opposed to being dropped off and picked up which necessitates 4 vehicle trips).
After a 2,200 mile railway tour of Britain, the rail minister found that lack of parking was a problem at many stations (!!). This represents a challenge for most stations which are already on confined sites because of their location within town centres. A Department for Transport insider said that there is a need to find a way “to afford multi-storey car parks in the middle of a recession”.
Passenger research conducted in 2005 on station car parks indicated that complaints included lack of security for themselves and their vehicles, use of the parking spaces by non rail-using shoppers and prohibitive car parking charges.
One rail operator, who has signed a partnership agreement with a major car park operator in Britain, sees the car park operator committing to invest more than 1 million pounds in improvements to 62 car parks located in London and across East Anglia. These include pay-by-mobile phone facilities, ability to purchase season tickets on line, providing customer service staff to escort passengers to their vehicles during the evenings as well as lighting, CCTV and cleaning upgrades.
Back in Oz one can only hope that examples such as these are what the NSW State Government has in mind as it prepares to start collecting all those extra dollars (58 million of them….) from the State Budget levy increases!