Anger over increased station parking charges

Rail companies were today accused of increasing station car parking charges by up to 50 per cent to offset January's small cut in rail fares.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) accused Virgin Trains of raising charges by between 25 per cent and 50 per cent for the 10,000 car parking spaces along the busy West Coast line between London and Glasgow.

Annual parking tickets have risen from £655 to £980, a 50 per cent increase, said the union.

The TSSA also accused First Great Western, which runs services between Bristol and London, of increasing its car parking charges by up to 30 per cent.

Annual charges at Reading Station were going up from £1,265 to £1,644, said officials.

"It is outrageous that passengers have to pay huge increases in car parking fees just so the rail companies can offset the tiny 0.4 per cent cut in regulated fares that they will be forced to make in January," said union general secretary Gerry Doherty.

"Passengers are paying now for the tiny benefit they will get in the New Year. This is in effect a back door fares increase which is not covered by the regulated fares formula.

"The rail companies are picking the pockets of millions of passengers simply because they can get away with it."

The TSSA said Virgin Trains were increasing their daily parking rate at mainline stations from £6 to £8 (a 25 per cent rise), monthly from £70 to £98 (25 per cent) and annually from £655 to £980(50 per cent).

A TSSA survey in May revealed that the private rail companies were making over £100 million a year from car parking charges.

Mr Doherty called on Transport Secretary Lord Adonis to include car parking charges in the annual rail fares formula which limits increases to only 1 per cent above RPI, saying: "This is the only way we will stop the rail companies ripping off their captive audience."

A spokesman for Virgin said the union was ignoring the tens of millions of pounds spent increasing car parking spaces.

"Off peak and weekend charges are being reduced so it will be much cheaper to park then.

"They are picking on the most expensive and ignoring the many reductions."

He added that safety has been improved with better lighting and CCTV and said car parking charges had not gone up for five years.

"We have doubled the number of spaces this year. People want somewhere to park with better lighting and security which comes at a cost."

He said charges based on other parking facilities available locally to the stations.

"We feel the rises are justified. A lot of money is being spent."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Development Manager

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Service and Installation Engineer

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: SEO / Outreach Executive

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a global marketin...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Estimator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?