Agenda item

Car Parking at Railway Stations

Report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services


Purpose:  To follow up on the recommendation from the Rural Commission requesting that the County Council review car parking spaces at railway stations.


Considered –


The report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services which provided follow-up on the recommendation, from North Yorkshire Rural Commission, which asked the County Council to review car parking spaces at railway stations.


In introducing the report, Graham North (Strategy and Performance Officer, Business and Environmental Services Directorate) highlighted that:-


·         The Harrogate Line had seen significant improvements in frequency, modern rolling stock, station improvements and the introduction of the LNER services to/from London, all of which had potentially increased the demand for rail travel.

·         Pre-pandemic, most car parks on the Harrogate Line were full.  The pandemic had changed this, with currently more people working from home.

·         The number of car parking spaces, and the amount of any daily charge, at the stations at Weeton, Pannal, Hornbeam Park, Harrogate, Starbeck, Knaresborough and Cattal were set out in the report to this meeting.

·         The rail industry had looked at each station to identify any land available for car parking close to stations.  Whilst some land had been identified, the cost to purchase, access to/from the site, and the poor business cases had meant that they were not developed further. 

·         Many stations on the line were close to the communities they served and active travel options, with station facilities that encouraged this and the use of public transport was a viable alternative to use of the car.

·         Any car park developments coming forward would be expected to help deliver the York and North Yorkshire Routemap to Carbon Negative.

·         The situation regarding car parking on each of the local stations was as follows:-

·                     Pannal – Provision for a park and rail car park was included as part of the redevelopment of the Dunlopillo site in Pannal.  The site was currently under construction and, as yet, this had not been provided.

·                     Hornbeam Park – Any changes to car park provision at this station would need to include any potential impact on the local highway.

·                     Harrogate – The multi-storey car park adjacent to the station provided extra station car parking capacity.

·                     Cattal – Harrogate Borough Council and the County Council were working closely with the site promoters in connection with the new settlement proposals in the Cattal area.  The new settlement would be focused around Cattal railway station and would comprise the enhancements to the rail station including provision of additional car parking.  Harrogate Borough Council was currently developing a Development Plan document to guide the development of the new settlement.

·                     At Weeton, Starbeck and Knaresborough stations, no work was planned.


Members discussed the report and provided the following comments:-


·         Members emphasised that one of their motivations was to make public transport, whether by bus or by rail, more accessible through other means of transport rather than the motor car.  This was a main feature of the Harrogate Gateway Scheme.


·         Pannal railway station car parking:–

·                     Members acknowledged that there was quite a lot of spare capacity at present at the Pannal railway station car park but this situation might change as people returned to work from offices following the pandemic.  

·                     Members noted that any questions needed to be directed to Harrogate Borough Council planning department concerning when the developer was to commence work on the new provision for a park and rail car park as part of the redevelopment of the Dunlopillo site.


·         Cattal railway station car parking – Members were confident that, whichever council was in place at the time, would impose conditions, to provide better facilities at Cattal railway station, on the developer or the developers of nearby housing developments.


·         Hornbeam Park railway station car parking:–

·                     A Member highlighted that, as at midday the previous day, there were 48 vacant car parking spaces in this station car park. 

·                     Members discussed the possible double-decking of the car park and highlighted various concerns, including the inappropriateness of a double-decked car park in such a semi-rural environment, and the implications for residents living on Hookstone Road in view of the levels of traffic at peak times.  Another Member expressed the view that adding an extra, say 100, parking spaces, by double-decking the car park, was unlikely to have such a great effect on what was already a pretty busy highway junction. 

·                     Members also highlighted that there was already a fair bit of overspill of parking, by people using the Hornbeam Park railway station, onto local residential roads.  There was some inconsiderate parking, longer term parking, or the blocking of driveways taking place and these were situations that Members were anxious to avoid. 

·                     A Member suggested that additional cycle routes, from further away, might be provided to encourage people to get to/from Hornbeam Park by cycling rather than by motor car.


·         Starbeck railway station car parking:–

·                     A Member commented that there was tremendous demand for car parking around this station because the current car park was always full, and nearby sites previously used for car parking had recently been built on.  Graham North advised that no land had been identified, which was easily accessible and close to the station, for additional car parking. 

·                     Graham North advised that it was considered that the majority of the users of this station were from the local community.  The Member commented that there had been an increasing trend, during the previous 3-4 years, of people from outside coming into Starbeck by car to use the railway station.


·         Knaresborough railway station car parking – In response to questions, Graham North advised that some potential land had been investigated for additional station car parking but had been considered to be not worth progressing for various reasons including the impact on the highways, difficulties in entering/exiting the site at peak times, and distance from the station.


·         There was a discussion about charging to park at railway stations.  Members expressed opposition to charging on the basis that it had the consequence of pushing parking into residential roads where such parking would be a danger and inconvenience to local people, and it would increase the cost to the passenger of using public transport.  However railway station car park charges were already in place at Pannal and Harrogate railway stations.


·         Facilities at railways stations were discussed and Graham North undertook to provide Members with more detailed information concerning:-  current onward travel posters which promoted the different ways to get to and from the railway station; the current number of cycle spaces at the station; and current facilities at each station.  Graham North added that the rail industry itself was keen to develop facilities actually at railway stations.  He also advised that Northern had a programme to invest in CCTV at many stations along the Harrogate line.


Resolved –


That the content of the report be noted.

Supporting documents: