Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Reportage: Rail parking plans scrapped

Plans to implement car parking charges at rail stations throughout Calderdale have been ruled out by the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin.

The original proposals were scrapped when they proved unpopular with rail passengers and residents living near the affected stations.

“The plans to bring in parking charges in some of the smaller stations proved incredibly unpopular and they realised that it wouldn’t have generated much money over the 18 remaining months of the franchise,” said chair of Metro James Lewis.

But Mr Lewis revealed that Northern Rail will be losing a proportion of its subsidy meaning fare increases are highly likely.

“Northern Rail is a heavily subsidised operation, and the company are trying to cut costs where they can,” said Mr Lewis.

“Instead of bringing in parking charges, they are looking at the way they charge for train tickets.

“We’re trying to seek clarification over what the plans are, but I suspect it won’t be as simple as an extra one per cent on everybody’s train ticket.

“There are the unregulated fares they could increase, they could also increase their peak hours in the morning and introduce evening peak charages.”

A spokeswoman from Northern Rail said: ““The details of the new franchise agreement are still being finalised and we cannot comment further until it is signed.”

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