Rail station parking idea runs out of steam

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New pay-and-display machines which were installed at Chorley Railway Station eight months ago, to tackle chronic parking problems, still have not been switched on.

Commuters have accused rail bosses of missing out on thousands of pounds of potential income, while at the same time hiking up train fares.

Now motorists visiting in the town centre are exploiting the loophole to park at the railway station to avoid parking charges in the nearby Flat Iron car park.

The pay-and-display machines on the 121-bay car park have never worked.

Michelle Green, 31, who works in Chorley town centre every day, said: “I think it is outrageous that they have pay-and-display machines on there which should be working and are not working.

“Why should we have to pay such high train fares when they could be generating money elsewhere, such as the car park?

“I think that money could go some way to reducing ticket prices.”

Another angry train user Kim Fulford, who works in Horwich, said: “I know it is not people’s fault for parking there for free.

“But it is up to Northern Rail to police it, and make sure people are paying to park there.

“You have to pay at other pay-and-display car parks in Chorley, so why should this be any different, even though the council is in charge of them.

“I am worried that some shoppers or workers in town will be using the car park because it is free.”

In October, the bay lines were repainted and bollards installed to stop inconsiderate parking.

At the time, a spokesman for Northern Rail said the park would be monitored using CCTV and guard patrols, with penalty charges given to people without a ticket.

This week, a spokesman for Northern Rail said: “We have had a number of issues with the pay-and-display machines since installation, and these are being addressed as a matter of urgency.

“We anticipate to be functional within the next month.

“We are aware of non-rail users parking at the station, and plans are in place to monitor the car park and ensure this does not happen in the future.”