Parking charges at village station cut

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:01 11 May 2010

Cllr Susan van de Ven

Cllr Susan van de Ven

PARKING charges at a village station have been slashed for a three-month trial period. Train operator First Capital Connect s (FCC) decision to impose a daily £2.50 car parking charge at Meldreth station was met with an angry backlash from commuters whe

PARKING charges at a village station have been slashed for a three-month trial period.

Train operator First Capital Connect's (FCC) decision to impose a daily £2.50 car parking charge at Meldreth station was met with an angry backlash from commuters when it was announced earlier this year.

Now FCC has decided to reduce the charge to £1 for the next three months, after station users began parking on nearby streets instead.

Cllr Susan van de Ven, district councillor for Meldreth, described the decision as a "small crumb" of good news.

She said: "Three months is not a long period at all, and the overall cost of travel is the real issue. However, this is a small step in the right direction."

Cllr van de Ven added that the fact that FCC was prepared to negotiate was "highly unusual".

"I'm told by a rail users group that it has never happened before that they have changed their minds, so it's good that they have opened communications channels for us," she said.

"I hope people will now use the car park if they can afford it, but I know there is still a lot of anger towards FCC because of the way they have handled this issue."

Residents of Meldreth and the surrounding villages have been very vocal in their opposition to the car parking charges. Last month Elaine Holt, managing director of First Capital Connect, attended a public meeting in Meldreth to answer questions about car parking, and proposed changes to ticket office opening hours.

A spokesman for First Capital Connect said: "Following discussions with the local authorities, we are putting this reduction in place for three months to give the local council the opportunity to look at traffic management systems in the area.

"We will see how the initial three months goes and assess the situation again at the end of that time.

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