Parking prices go up at station

PUBLISHED: 06:34 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:45 31 May 2010

AN IRATE commuter from Saffron Walden is furious that One Railway has increased the daily car parking charge at Audley End Station to £5. Matthew North, 34, who travels from the station to London Liverpool Street every day, cannot believe that the train c

AN IRATE commuter from Saffron Walden is furious that One Railway has increased the daily car parking charge at Audley End Station to £5.

Matthew North, 34, who travels from the station to London Liverpool Street every day, cannot believe that the train company has increased the price by almost four times the rate of inflation.

He said: "Commuters are being held to ransom and it is exceedingly unfair and smacks of gross profiteering from One.

"The increase of 50p per day equates to well over £100 per year for every rail user who parks there, and that is nearly everyone as it is so out of the way.

"Almost every one of the passengers I have spoken to about the increase is up in arms about it as well, as it is such an outrageous price hike to enforce on customers who are already paying a lot of money to travel on the train."

When he complained to One, Mr North said he was told the increase was an annual one based on the surrounding area and amenities.

"The company obviously thinks that people are wealthier and well off around here and that they can get away with charging whatever they like," he said.

"Even if this were true, it still wouldn't be acceptable for an 11 per cent increase to be imposed, and I feel that One are simply abusing the monopoly they have."

A One spokeswoman said the annual price increase, which came into effect on June 11, would allow the company to fund security improvements at its stations.

"We are committed to improving security and safety at our stations, and the extra revenue from the new car parking charges will be used to install and upgrade CCTV cameras.

"All of the extra money will be reinvested in the company so that we can improve the environment at our stations and improve our service to all of our customers."

But Mr North is also unhappy that One have not upgraded the car park ticket machines, which still do not accept £2 coins.

"It is amazing to think that £2 coins have been legal tender for 10 years, yet you still can't use them to pay to park at the station," he said.

"I really hope that the money they are making from this price increase will be used to solve this."

The One spokeswoman said that the company and its contractors, National Car Parks, were aware of the problem and that they were looking into getting the machines updated.

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