A new study by short-term insurance provider, Veygo, has revealed that if you’re looking to let the train take the strain, you could be charged as much as £40 PER DAY to park your car in the station car park. In a typical working year (less weekends and holiday), that could equate to as much as £9,000.

Of course that’s with a London weighting, surely once you get outside of London, things are much cheaper? Selly Oaks in the West Midlands has free parking, as does Kirkby in Merseyside, and you’ll pay just £2.40 for a whole day of parking in Benfleet, Essex.

However, Reading station charge £25 per day, Glasgow and Edinburgh charge £24 & £22 respectively, and Manchester Piccadilly want £21 for a day’s parking. Cheap at almost half the price of St. Pancras.

Intervention

We’re forever being told that we should use mass transit or public transportation to help the environment, and aside from the argument that in most cases, it really isn’t that great or reliable, we need to factor in costs.

Rail fares are due to be increased again in January, which will push the average price of a season ticket up by a further £100, which also means for the first time ever, average prices will be above £3,000.

Add in a extra few thousand pounds for parking, and you have yourself the potential to buy a cleaner, greener vehicle that’s capable of transporting you and your family, with shopping or luggage to the exact destination you wish to be.

Whether you agree or disagree with the left-leaning politics, there’s an argument to be made regarding nationalising mass transit, just to stamp out the blatant profiteering and extortion from the privately-owned companies behind the networks.

Politicking

It doesn’t matter who is in power, or whether you believe that mass transit will never be the solution that’s required, surely, if the authorities want to promote the use of this kind of transport, they should  do more to subsidise passenger costs, or even implement regulations to prevent the disparity throughout the country.

Charging by popularity rather than actual cost makes a great business case, but effectively, the authorities are promoting the use of these networks, and the network operators are benefitting hand-over-fist thanks to this coercion. Shouldn’t something be done?

Yes, there’s an argument that real estate prices need to be accounted for, you’d expect some discrepancy between the Southern areas and those further North, but £9,000 difference is greed, pure and simple.

Most expensive rail car parks

Of course, we could leave the car at home, walk or cycle to the station if we’re young and fit enough, but that’s a solution for the minority, not the majority. After a quick search, for me to travel to London early morning, and back early evening, I’d be looing at £141 for the rail fare, and a further £12 to park – £153 against a rough cost of £50 (inc ULEZ and Congestion).

Is it really that surprising that passengers are choosing their car over rail travel? A third of the price, with all of the convenience. Add in a family and the differences really stack up.

Despite some protestations in other articles, I’m all for trying to help reduce air pollution, live a cleaner lifestyle and reduce my carbon footprint, but if I had to do that three times a week, it would be cheaper to rent a room than travel, and that just can’t be right.

Top 10 car parks

The top ten most expensive (outside of London) and cheapest rail car parks  are:

  1. Reading – £25.00
  2. Glasgow Central – £24.00
  3. Edinburgh – £22.00
  4. Manchester Piccadilly – £21.00
  5. Sheffield – £19.00
  6. Liverpool Lime St – £18.70
  7. York – £17.00
  8. Newcastle – £17.00
  9. Peterborough – £15.00
  10. Leicester – £14.50
  11. Derby – £14.50
  12. Stockport – £14.50
  13. Durham – £14.50
  14. Bristol Temple Meads – £14.30
  1. Selly Oak – Free
  2. Kirkby – Free
  3. Benfleet – £2.40
  4. Paisley Gilmour St – £3.00
  5. Stirling – £3.50
  6. Gillingham – £5.10
  7. Hull – £5.20
  8. Cheltenham Spa – £5.20
  9. Eastbourne – £5.30
  10. Chichester – £5.30
  11. Luton – £5.60
  12. Walton-On-Thames – £5.70
  13. Ashford International – £5.80

In the interest of fairness, it’s worth pointing out that along with travel season tickets, a number of the station car parks also offer parking season tickets, which could reduce the charge significantly – Reading station for example offer a season ticket for ‘just’ £1,850, which could see a saving of around £3,775 over standard rates.

But of course, that begs the question … if they can offer parking for that cheaper price, and still make a profit, why are they blatantly ripping off other motorists?

What are your thoughts? Should the government step in and regulate the prices? Are the station operators just being greedy? Let us know in the comments.

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