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Train companies defend plans to build bigger Winchester rail station car park
TRAIN companies have defended parking restrictions introduced after the start of building a bigger car park at Winchester railway station.
Work began on Monday (November 25) to increase the size of the car park on the down or southbound side.
Only commuters with monthly or annual parking season tickets will be allowed to park in station car parks before 10am until construction ends in March 2014.
One regular commuter, who asked not to be named, said: “As a regular daily traveller from Winchester, I find it both unreasonable and discriminatory not only that I cannot park at the station for the next four months because I have customarily purchased a weekly rather than a monthly season ticket but, in particular, that notice of this specific exclusion was not made generally available.
“When it was presented at the point of purchase in the days immediately preceding its enactment, weekly season ticket holders were denied the right to be able to purchase a monthly season ticket. At every stage of this process discrimination and unlawful exclusion have been put in place,” she added.
A spokeswoman for SWT and Network Rail said: “We know it is causing inconvenience. It’s short-term pain for long-term gain, because we are creating additional parking at the station.”
She said the work was advertised including maps of alternative nearby car parks such as Worthy Lane and Cattle Market.
The £1.5m project, funded through a Department for Transport initiative, will provide much-needed extra car parking for commuters.
The new single-storey decked car park, off Andover Road, will boost the current car park from around 150 to 266 spaces. There are some 450 space on the up or northbound side.
Arthur Pretorius, deputy customer service director for the SWT-Network Rail Alliance, said: “Winchester station serves over four million passengers a year and the new multi-storey car park will create welcome capacity for car users.
“We are working closely with our contractors to keep our car park open as much as possible, albeit with fewer spaces available. We are also providing alternative car parking arrangements within walking distance of the station. We will keep any complete closure to the minimum and will keep passengers informed well in advance.”
Train services and access will continue as normal throughout the construction phase.
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