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Train station companies cash in on already stretched commuters

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Commuters who already pay the highest rates for rail travel in Europe are dealt a second blow with extortionate train station parking fees, figures reveal.

Those living in Reading pay an astonishing £23.70 a day to park their car at the station, which increases the price of a standard return ticket by 52% to £46, research from Resolver shows.

The free complaint resolution service said this means travel from Reading costs an incredible £2.49 a minute in fares and parking fees to travel to London.

It also found an instance where train station parking is actually more expensive than train travel. Commuters living in Coventry and travelling to Birmingham pay £12 to park their car at the station while an anytime return costs £7.30.

This research comes as commuters are already impacted by increasing national rail fares (an average of 2.3%), which is six times more than elsewhere in Europe.

The table below shows the top 10 stations by most expensive parking (24 hours):


James Walker, founder of Resolver, said: “It’s clear that rising costs are having a huge impact on people across the UK. With increases on the horizon on everything from household goods to mortgage costs, the people I speak to are really concerned about making ends meet in 2017.

“Though train and parking companies can’t be forced to reduce their prices, you can still recoup some of your losses by remembering your rights and claiming for refunds if you’re delayed or making a complaint if you face an unfair parking charge.”

Last year alone about 3,500 people used Resolver’s free online complaints tool to tackle train companies, while a further 2,500 made complaints about parking problems, from unfair fines to unclear pricing.

Resolver said that a surprisingly large number of people are still failing to claim back their fares when their trains are delayed. Generally, that means a 30-minute delay on the railways or 15 minutes on the tube.

“Though you can’t vote with your feet when it comes to parking and travel costs, you can use your consumer rights to fight back,” he added.

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