Rail company defends station parking prices

The main Wellingborough train station car park
The main Wellingborough train station car park

The company which runs Wellingborough railway station has defended its increased car parking charges after plans to extend a parking scheme which prevents commuters parking in nearby streets were revealed.

Wellingborough Council has agreed to consult people living in Senwick Drive, Knox Road, Mill Road and Midland Road on whether they want £25-a-year parking permits which prevent commuters parking in their streets.

The scheme was introduced in 2011 for Chace Road, Colwell Road, Chester Road, Dryden Road, Senwick Road and parts of Midland Road following complaints from residents that they were unable to find spaces near their homes as commuters were parking in the streets.

The cost of using the station’s car parks recently increased from £8.50 to £9 a day during peak hours, and from £4 to £4.50 during off-peak hours, sparking criticism by councillors. But East Midlands Trains defended its rates, which it says are “competitively priced”.

A spokesman for the company said: “We have invested heavily to improve the car parks on our route, and since the start of the franchise in November 2007, we have introduced more than 1,200 additional car parking spaces for passengers. In addition, we have made significant investment to improve security and provide improved facilities for passengers using our station car parks.

“During January 2013, we introduced a new three-month season ticket for commuters using Wellingborough station, offering a discounted daily rate of £5.30.

“We believe our car parks are competitively priced and they reflect the convenience offered to passengers, as well as our continued investment programme.”

The mood at Wellingborough Train Station on Tuesday morning was one of frustration, with train users saying more should be done to help them. Graham Smith, of Earls Barton, said: “It’s expensive to park at the station.”