RAIL campaigners in Rugby are calling for urgent action to ease the pressure on the town’s train station car parks after it was revealed they are regularly full by 8am, leaving commuters stranded.
Bosses at Rugby Rail Users Group (RRUG) say they now regularly hear from passengers who are unable to use one of the three car parks at the station as the numbers using it continue to grow.
They recently met with chiefs from Virgin Trains, which owns the car parks, to discuss a solution – but though the company is considering increasing the number of spaces from the current 777 it has given no indication of when.
Stephanie Clifford, RRUG chair, said the issue was causing serious problems for commuters.
“The car parks are regularly full by 8am and I have seen them all full as early as 7.30am.
“It means commuters are in some cases missing their trains or having to pay for a much more expensive alternative.
“In some cases people who have already paid for parking because it is included in the price of their season ticket are missing out.
“And the discount for parking off-peak after 10am is redundant at the moment because by that time the car parks are always full.
“Clearly this is a real problem for people using trains and it risks having a serious impact in terms of people potentially missing hours of work.
“It also has the potential to impact on Rugby – part of the appeal for new homes in the town is that there is an easy commute so issues like this could have a real impact on people’s views of living in the town.”
Mrs Clifford said she had been surprised by the growth in the number of people using the station but said action needed to be taken to stem the demand.
“When the new multi-storey car park opened in 2009 many people doubted it would ever be full but there has been a real growth in the numbers using the station.
“We now need action to urgently address this.”
A spokesperson for Virgin Trains said the company was looking at options to expand the car parks but gave no indication of timescales.
They said: “Demand for parking at Rugby does cause issues for our customers and we are looking specifically at what can be done to address this.
“We are working to improve and enhance our car parks with a focus on initiatives such as pre-bookable parking and expansion plans where required.”