Rail passengers report low satisfaction with station car parking

Getting to and from the railway station is an integral part of travelling by train.

Whilst almost 50% of passengers actually walk to the station, the second most common method of transport is the car (17%).

With increasing importance being attached to reducing CO2 emissions within the industry and the high demand being placed on a limited number of parking spaces at some stations, ‘more thought needs to be given on how rail passengers are going to access the railway’, says Passenger Focus.

Today’s report ‘getting to the railway station’ by the independent consumer watchdog, reveals low passenger satisfaction with car parking facilities at stations.

Passengers that said they would like to use an alternative form of transport to reach the station (16%) mostly suggested buses were their preferred option.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus, chief executive said:

“As demand for the railway steadily increases so too will the need to widen and improve access to railway stations. This should be high on train operator’s agenda as they start to think about how to accommodate and deliver high quality, punctual services that all passengers can access easily.”

The report highlights a ‘real opportunity to cause a shift in modal choice’, as passengers report a desire to know more about how they can use the bus to access the station, especially with better connection times and a more frequent bus service.


  1. Sheffield Station car park is really really nice but at £12.50 for up to 12 hours it is far too expensive to use. A (non black) cab is £6-7 each way! The walk is 3 miles, the bike ride there is amazing and is never more than 10 mins, but back it is 30 mins of torture up the hill. Last time I caught a bus to the station I had a 5 min walk to the bus stop, a 15 min wait for a bus, a 20 min bus journey followed by a 5 min walk to the station. So 45 extra minutes before I even start waiting for the train. The way back is worse as the nearest bus stop going home is a 10-15 mins walk up a hill often in the rain.

    So if the choice is to drive or to take the train unless Im going somewhere where a car would be of no use such as central London I mainly take the car. If the parking was under a fiver and free or nominal fee at weekend I would probably take the train a lot more.

  2. My local station (Nailsea & Backwell) car park is free. Consequently this means it is full to overflowing by 0800 every day! But I’m certain that a lot of people would abandon the train if the car park was to charge.
    I’m lucky in that I only have a 1/2 mile walk from my home to the station.

  3. No wonder there is dissatisfaction.  East Midlands Trains have the gall to charge £11 for the use of their car park at Derby.  Virgin Trains used to charge £8 at Rugby until an entrepreneur got hold of a piece of land near to the station and started charging £5.  Virgin have retaliated and have lowered their charge to £4.50.  Long may the battle continue.  Surely we pay enough for rail fares that the car parking ought to be free??


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