Published on: Thursday, 19 January 2023
Last updated: Thursday, 19 January 2023
Above: Diss station car park Credit: Greater Anglia
The cost of parking at some Greater Anglia rail stations is set to fall as the operator commences a trial aimed at attracting people back to rail.
During the pandemic, Greater Anglia saw passenger numbers fall significantly and, although people have been returning steadily since restrictions were lifted, some of its car parks are still not seeing the levels of growth the operator had expected by now.
Greater Anglia has been running a survey online to find out how people’s travelling and parking habits have changed since lockdown and will commence a trial from 23 January for three months, discounting the cost of parking at 14 of its stations.
Tariffs will be reduced at Audley End, Billericay, Bishop’s Stortford, Broxbourne, Diss, Harlow Town, Hatfield Peverel, Kelvedon, Lowestoft, Manningtree, March, Marks Tey, Rayleigh, Whittlesford and Wickford.
The trial follows the introduction of new, hourly parking tariffs at 30 Greater Anglia station car parks, so people have a cheaper option if they’re not planning to park all day, reflecting the way work patterns have changed since the pandemic.
The new hourly tariff gives people the option to park for up to four hours at for £1 an hour – perfect for shorter trips or for visiting places near stations.
Greater Anglia also launched a new flexible parking season ticket – giving rail passengers who park at stations regularly two or three days a week a discount of up to 12.5 per cent.
The flexible parking season ticket gives eight parking sessions which have to be used within 28 days of purchase – matching the new Flexi Season train ticket.
The eight parking sessions can be used on any day – there is no need to specify them in advance.
Other tariffs and prices have been frozen since 2020.
Details of the new prices are available at gaparking.co.uk
Simone Bailey, Greater Anglia’s asset management director said: “With fares frozen until March and our discounted car parking offer, the next few months are a great time to save money by taking the train for part of your journey.
“Our spacious car parks and quick connections into the region’s towns and cities are a great ‘park and ride’ option helping to avoid town centre congestion and pollution - and are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
“With our easy payment options, our car parks are really convenient and we have invested millions in making sure they are maintained to a high standard, and are secure, well-lit and well-managed to offer customers the best possible experience.”
Recently, Greater Anglia received a People’s Parking accreditation for 12 rail station car parks - Attleborough, Audley End, Billericay, Broxbourne, Cambridge, Cambridge North, Hatfield Peverel, Ingatestone, Kelvedon, Marks Tey, Rayleigh and Wickford.
The accreditation means that the car parks demonstrate good signage and pedestrian routes, are well lit, clean and well-managed, well-located and have a range of payment options available.
People’s Parking accreditations also aim to highlight car parks which have facilities for disabled people, parents with children, cyclists and motorcyclists, people who drive electric vehicles, those who drive light commercial vehicles/camper vans, and those who drive wheelchair accessible vehicles.
This year, the operator also invested over £34,000 to bring car parks at Cheshunt, Dovercourt, Harling Road, Hatfield Peverel, Hockley, North Fambridge, Prittlewell, Rochford, Sawbridgeworth, South Woodham Ferrers, Stowmarket, Thorpe-Le- Soken, Whittlesford Parkway and Wivenhoe up to date with new markings and repairs to tarmac surfaces.
The works also mean that the car parks are compliant with Equality legislation by ensuring that accessible parking spaces are clearly defined, there is the correct number of accessible spaces for each car park and that appropriate distances are maintained between vehicles in the accessible bays.
Above: Manningtree car park Credit: Greater Anglia
Above: Broxbourne car park during upgrade work to extend the car park . Credit: Greater Anglia