Ipswich in top 20 most expensive station car parks outside London
PUBLISHED: 09:14 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:18 31 October 2019
The most expensive railway station car parks outside London have been revealed - and Ipswich is ranked in the top 20.
Put together using official government Office for Rail and Road statistics and using Network Rail parking charge data, the rankings by insurance company Veygo include the most popular stations outside the capital.
Earlier this year it emerged the price of parking at the station was 10% higher than in 2018, with the cost of a daily parking ticket rising from £10.70 to £11.80.
Meanwhile, a yearly season ticket set passengers back £2,000 this year, up 11% from £1,804 in 2018.
Ipswich ranks higher than some of the country's major cities - including Oxford, Cambridge and Chelmsford - and is also more expensive than Colchester, where a daily ticket costs £10.
Norwich is four places higher in the table, with a £12.70 a day price tag.
Greater Anglia bosses said they are investing £25million in improving car parks across all of the company's stations, including installing ANPR cameras at Ipswich.
'Parking has to be more accommodating'
However, some frequent Ipswich passengers have stopped parking at the station - claiming it is "too expensive" to be sustainable.
Alison Palmer, from Kesgrave, said she parks at nearby Manningtree instead.
"With the cost of season tickets on trains, parking is another extra expense so my husband cycles there (to Ipswich railway station)," she said.
"When I travel to London I always park at Manningtree as it's far cheaper to park there.
"Even on London salaries, increased train costs means parking has to be more accommodating. Perhaps we the public are paying for new building work that was done at the station."
'Cost can now exceed £100 a day'
Jason Marter uses the station car park two to three times a week, without a season ticket, but said he is in a "lucky position" because his company pays for the parking charges.
"As you can see the charges have been steadily increased each year and when included in the cost of an open ticket to London now takes the cost (non season ticket) to £100 per day," he said.
"There are of course cheaper options as some stated there is the car park near the old Hollywood nightclub (the Ipswich Borough Council owned West End Road car park), and an NCP on Burrell Road but these all add to the length of the commute.
"Of course there are also public transport options e.g. a bus, but these are either infrequent, impractical or add significant time to the journey - about an hour earlier in the morning from Kesgrave, door-to-door."
What did Greater Anglia bosses have to say?
A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said the most recent pricing changes for station car parks came into effect at the start of this year.
"Some prices were frozen, while others went up or down," she said.
"We are currently investing £25million in improving car parks at our stations, including installing Automatic Number Plate Recognition at 20 car parks, adding an extra 1,782 spaces, fitting LED lights, re-surfacing car parks and improving CCTV and security arrangements.
She added: "Prices are set at a level to ensure that when a passenger drives to a station they have the best chance of finding a space in good time to catch their train. Where there is high demand, we work to develop schemes to increase capacity, wherever practical.
"We're also working to make it easier for people to use other transport options, such as buses, bikes or walking, to travel to/from our stations, including the provision of over 9,000 free cycle spaces."