Car parking charges have been introduced at Chorley’s railway station.
Visitors to the car park, which is operated by Northern Rail, will now have to pay £2 a day.
At peak times the station is often full, with rail users parking on pavements and double yellow lines.
Rail bosses say the new fees still make the station car park ‘significantly cheaper’ than others in the town centre, and money was needed to carry out improvements at the station.
A spokesperson for Northern Rail said: “We have introduced a £2 daily car park charge at Chorley station that applied from February 20, which is significantly cheaper than other town centre car parks.
“We have recently carried out improvements to the car park, including the installation of CCTV, the cutting back of vegetation, the relining of the surface to create marked bays and the introduction of security teams.
“As our franchise was awarded on ‘no growth and no investment’ the revenue received from parking charges will generate the funding for these improvements and the ongoing management and maintenance of the car park.”
The move comes after plans were scrapped to build a multi-storey car park to tackle the problem of people leaving their cars on yellow lines and pavements when it’s busy.
Bosses previously said they wanted to see how the opening of Buckshaw Village’s new Buckshaw Parkway station affected the amount of people still visiting Chorley before committing to the project.
They also agreed to look into making more room for spaces in the existing car park while assessments were ongoing, but in December they announced there were no intentions to pursue the idea at all.
Coun Alan Cullens, who is executive member for partnerships and planning at Chorley Council, raised concerns about how this would affect the station, with no parking charges currently in place at Buckshaw Parkway. The new station, which opened in October last year, currently has around 2,000 passengers passing through every week.
He said: “The process of the railway is to try and entice customers to use the rail and not the road.
“This will deter people from using the rail. I don’t see there’s anything to be gained from this.
“Why would you pay to park at Chorley when you can park free at Buckshaw at the moment?
“I would also be concerned if Northern Rail put in any plans to introduce charges at Buckshaw in the future.
“They say there has been a dramatic increase in the traffic at Buckshaw and a lot of that has to be coming from Chorley.
“This just reminds me of Chorley Hospital making despicable charges.”