Rail users' woe at non-advertised half price car park tickets
RAIL users have hit out after learning they could have saved themselves a small fortune on parking costs at Gloucester railway station – if they'd known a discount was on offer.
Signs next to pay and display machines in the station's car park do not tell motorists the price of leaving their car for the day while they travel by train is almost halved if they buy their parking ticket at the counter.
Drivers have to plough a flat rate £8.20 into the machines for a day's parking, Monday to Friday. But this fee drops to £4.30 if you buy online or at the ticket office instead.
Private parking firm APCOA is contracted to operate the parking service at the station.
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One rail user, David Lea, tweeted his anger, along with a picture of the signs next to the pay and display machine.
He said: "Where on this sign does it say that parking tickets are cheaper (£4.30) at the ticket counter? Appalled. A con. I knew it should have been £4.30 from the website but assumed price just gone up. No sign on machine."
Other users said the same. One, who asked not to be named, said: "I've been using the station here for quite a while, so I'm aware you can get the parking tickets cheaper, but anyone turning up would have no idea – there's nothing to say it's so much cheaper if you go inside. But I suppose if you use the station every day that would quickly become obvious."
An APCOA spokesman said the signs have been that way for seven years without complaint and the dramatic drop in price depending on how you pay is actually to encourage proper use of the car park.
He said: "The station car park is principally for the use of rail travellers, so the advertised traffic is to encourage non-rail users to park in other private or public facilities which are available for general use. Commuters using the rail station car park should ideally pay for their parking at the station ticket office. They can also download the APCOA CONNECT app to pay for their ticket."
Ben Smith, 19, from Quedgeley, regularly heads to Birmingham on the train.
He said: "It seems pretty unreasonable not to be telling people there are cheaper tickets available. I get what APCOA are saying but I definitely think the signs need to be made clearer. I don't think it would make any difference to who's using the car park, or why, because they'll be getting a train anyway. No one would buy a train ticket just to save £4 on parking – it would be more expensive."