Hikes could force more drivers to park on roads

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A PRICE hike in station parking is leaving residents fearing a rise in the number of cars parked dangerously on their streets.

From Monday the cost of parking at stations across Dacorum is set to increase and it is feared that spiralling costs could drive more commuters to leave their cars on roads near stations.

At Tring Station, the cost of an annual parking season ticket is set to increase from £751 to £796, a six per cent increase.

And while a daily ticket will stay at £6, the cost of an off-peak ticket is due to increase from £3.50 to £4.

Chairman of the Station Road Residents’ Association, Nicola Simpson, said: “Parking is an ongoing issue now.

“We have no problem if people are happy to walk for longer and park further away from the station to cut their costs.

“But it becomes a problem in terms of safety for residents when cars are left in unsuitable locations, blocking access or visibility.

“Recently we had an incident where an ambulance wasn’t able to gain access to a home.

“If the prices go up then it’s going to increase the problem.”

In Hemel Hempstead the price of an annual parking ticket is to increase from £660 to £713.

Those parking in Kings Langley will have to deal with a smaller £33 rise as the annual price increases from £653 to £686.

But in Berkhamsted the quarterly ticket price is being reduced from £194 to £186.

The price changes are being implemented by London Midland which runs the station car parks.

A spokesman said: “We review our charges every year and this year’s prices reflect the inflation rate of around five per cent, the increase in VAT from January 2011 and our continued investment in new and improved car parking facilities.

“We have spent £8.5 million on car park improvements since the franchise began in 2007 and created 1,000 extra car park spaces.

“We calculate charges based on capacity and demand. Stations where demand outstrips supply tend to have higher increases.

“While there have been increases across the board for annual and daily prices, the price of quarterly tickets had remained static and even decreased at some stations.”

Jocelyn Pearson of Passenger Focus said: “Car parking fees are not regulated, so many passengers are at the train company’s mercy when it comes to how much they have to pay to park at the station.

“Passengers factor in the price of car parking into the cost of travelling by train and for some passengers this may make the railway more unaffordable.”

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