Rail station multi-storey car park plan is axed

Coun Alan Cullens at the busy car park
Coun Alan Cullens at the busy car park

Plans for a much-needed car park extension at Chorley railway station have been completely scrapped.

Northern Rail has admitted it won’t be going ahead with proposals for 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 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 the assessments were ongoing, but have now announced there are no intentions to pursue the idea at all.

A Northern Rail spokesman said: “We realise parking at Chorley is an issue for our passengers, however there is no space around the car park to expand and a multi-storey facility simply will not be delivered within the current franchise.

“We will continue to monitor parking at both Chorley and Buckshaw Parkway, but with Buckshaw opening just two months ago it is impossible to judge the impact this has made as yet.”

The franchise for Northern Rail to operate at Chorley runs until September 2013, and the spokesman added that for the time being it would take to plan, apply for funding, get funding granted, and develop the scheme could not be carried out within that time.

The news has come as a major blow for train users who have complained about the lack of space at Chorley railway station, and a councillor has described the new move as a ‘let down’.

Coun Alan Cullens, who is executive member for partnerships and planning at Chorley Council, said: “It’s extremely disappointing.

“Parking has been an issue at Chorley for years, and people sometimes leave their cars across yellow lines or on pavements.

“There’s also a lot of vehicles left on the ramp leading up to the car park, because people in a rush just leave their cars where they can.

“If no work is done to improve the situation at the car park, Northern Rail could lose a lot of their customers.”

He added: “I’m surprised the decision has been made so quickly after Buckshaw’s station opened two months ago.

“Evidence so far shows that most of the customers using Buckshaw are new to the area, and haven’t come from Chorley, so Buckshaw won’t alleviate the problem in the town centre.

“Something needs to be done, and I’d advise Northern Rail to speak to customers to discover how bad the issue really is.”