Rail car parks 'unsafe after dark'

Just one in ten rail passengers believe station car parking offer services worth the money, a poll has shown - which might encourage more people to commute using their cars instead.

A survey of 1,000 passengers, by rail consumer watchdog Passenger Focus, also found that only around half (53%) feel car park areas are safe after dark.

The research said that while almost three in four passengers said they are satisfied with their ability to find a car parking space, 11 of the 42 stations in the poll are at least 90% occupied by 9am on weekdays.

Findings revealed that only 17% of those polled were satisfied with the pay machines at station car parks.

The survey covered stations in the East Midlands and on the route from the north of England into St Pancras station in London - among them Bedford, Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.

Anthony Smith, chief executive, Passenger Focus, said: "Passengers tell us that car parks at many of the region's stations are nearly full by 9am and that the price to park at a railway station is an issue.

"Passengers now need to see delivery of the extra spaces."

The Association of Train Operating Companies said: "The satisfaction research was carried almost entirely during peak hours and largely failed to take into account cheaper parking at many of these stations in the middle of the day."

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