Nailsea and Backwell station car park price rise blamed on commuters
06:06 17 February 2017
North Somerset Council has defended its decision to raise car park charges for train passengers using Nailsea and Backwell Railway Station, saying it will ‘reduce the need for longer car journeys’.
Last week the Times revealed parking fees were set to rise by up to 100 per cent for any motorist wishing to stop for more than 20 minutes.
The car park’s users have slammed the council’s plan saying it would lead to more drivers squeezing on to nearby residential streets and making those roads even more ‘dangerous’.
But deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees has said the price rise – which will help it increase its £2.69million annual parking income – is being introduced to stop people driving from Yatton to Nailsea to park.
Cllr Ap Rees: “One of the problems we have got is that people who live in Yatton will drive to Nailsea and Backwell to catch the train because it’s cheaper there to park at than at Yatton.
“If you ask me it makes little sense as the fuel costs must be high, but that’s one of the reasons we have brought Nailsea and Backwell in line with Yatton.”
Great Western Railway (GWR) charges £2.40 for people to park for a day at Yatton and the council will match that at Nailsea as of April 3.
A North Somerset Council spokesman said by raising its prices to make Yatton and Nailsea’s fees the same, it hoped to better ‘manage traffic flow, car park management and reduce the need of extra or longer car journeys’.
The Times asked the council if it had lobbied GWR to lower its prices to match Nailsea’s current £1.50 day fee in a bid to ‘manage traffic flow’ and encourage more people to use public transport. However, the spokesman confirmed no such discussion had taken place.
The price increase will affect people who buy long-term permits too and has left many passengers disgusted.
Times readers on Facebook described the council as ‘thick’ and ‘greedy’.
Commentator Ryan Davies said: “As a season ticket-holder at the car park, I’m failing to understand the logic of this decision.
“The cynic in me would say that the council has seen it nearly full most days and has spotted a money-making opportunity.
“Local roads will become car parks (as people look to avoid paying).
“So much for making public transport the affordable and preferred option. This stinks of greed.”