DESPERATE commuters who called out for a multi-storey car park in Chorley town centre could see their hopes dashed.
A lack of space means motorists using the railway station car park regularly dump their vehicles on double-yellow lines and pavements.
To solve the problems, Northern Rail revealed ideas to build a multi-storey car park in November, but plans are now on hold.
Carolyn Watson, who works for the company, said: “We are mindful that the opening of Buckshaw Parkway station later this year may impact on the number of people using the car park at Chorley, so we will be monitoring that before any final decisions are made.”
Instead, Northern Rail is now considering the possibility of making more room for spaces in the existing car park.
Ms Watson added: “We are continuing feasibility work on multi-tiering at Chorley station car park, but we are also looking at whether it is possible to create any further spaces within the existing footprint of the car park.”
The news has come as a major blow to residents, who feel the multi-storey solution would have been the best move.
Coun Alan Cullens, who is executive member for partnerships and planning at Chorley Council, said: “It is a disappointment this could be put on the back-burner.
“There are serious problems at the railway station car park in a morning, with people double parking and stopping on yellow lines.
“I imagine that, by the time Buckshaw Village has opened and Northern Rail have done their assessments, it will be another year before they look at the prospect of building a multi-storey car park here.
“I’d really call on them to do something else to address the issue in the meantime.”
Coun Cullens is also worried the Buckshaw site won’t make a difference to the number of people parking at Chorley, so the wait for assessments could be a waste of time.
“The Buckshaw station will only cater towards people living in the southern end of town,” he said. “Anyone coming from the north or the centre of Chorley will continue to use the current station.
“I think a multi-storey will still be needed.”
Malcolm Allen, chair of the Chorley Traders’ Alliance, added: “I think the overall decision will come down to cost, but the fact is that car parking in the town centre needs resolving.
“Starting with the railway would help, but it would only benefit those who leave the town to go to work in places like Preston.
“Northern Rail should look at extending the existing car park, as they’ve suggested.
“It wouldn’t be as costly as a multi-storey, and would be a step in the right direction for the whole town.”