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."

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments