DCSIMG

Rail deal could mean new parking charges

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  • by James Reed Political Reporter
 

NEW CHARGES could be introduced at railway station car parks in and around Leeds, the YEP has learned.

Yorkshire transport bosses are urging the Government not to go ahead with the idea, fearing it will cause chaos as drivers leave their cars on residential streets to avoid the new charges.

Passengers are also angered at the prospect of their journey to work getting more expensive.

The idea of introducing car parking charges at 18 stations has emerged as the Government negotiates an extension to the franchise held by Northern Rail, the company which runs local services in and out of Leeds.

A letter seen by the YEP from councillor James Lewis, chairman of West Yorkshire transport body Metro, urges Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to shelve the idea.

It warns Mr McLoughlin that “the adverse passenger impacts and impact on local highways and neighbourhoods (particularly of the proposed car park charges) have not been properly addressed in the proposals.”

There are concerns that if the charges go ahead, cash-strapped councils in West Yorkshire will have to spend money introducing and policing parking permit schemes on streets near to stations.

David Sidebottom, acting chief executive of consumer watchdog Passenger Focus, said: “Passengers who use station car parks where charges will be introduced will feel aggrieved at having to fork out even more money to travel by train.”

The Department for Transport (Dft) said discussions were ongoing with Northern Rail about the terms of its contract.

A DfT spokesman said: “As part of this process we are exploring a number of efficiency options to unlock investment and reduce the operating costs of running the railways.

“A decision will be made in due course.”

Full list of stations affected:

Sowerby Bridge

Hebden Bridge

Brighouse

Todmorden

Shipley

Steeton and Silsden

Menston

Crossflatts

Burley in Wharfedale

Garforth

New Pudsey

Horsforth

Guiseley

Outwood

Sandal and Agbrigg

Castleford

Normanton

South Elmsall

 

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