Anger at 45 per cent increase in St Albans station car parking charges
COMMUTERS are angry at being expected to pay increases of up to 45 per cent to leave their cars in St Albans City station s new multi-storey car park which opened on Tuesday. They were given just four days notice of the price hike at the station run by Fi
COMMUTERS are angry at being expected to pay increases of up to 45 per cent to leave their cars in St Albans City station's new multi-storey car park which opened on Tuesday.
They were given just four days notice of the price hike at the station run by First Capital Connect (FCC).
Nic Pearce, aged 49, of Hawfield Gardens, Park Street, said: "I am charged £2,500 a year so I can stand up in crowded dirty trains and now my parking fee has shot up from £4 to £5.80 daily. This feels like having salt rubbed in a wound.
"I notice that the rest of the site is also being developed so FCC will no doubt profit from that so why put the fees up by such an outrageous amount?"
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The new car park is on the site of the former rough car park off Victoria Street where a major new housing scheme is also being built.
Project manager Mandy Wheeler, aged 41, of Colney Heath Lane, St Albans, returned to her car last Friday to find a notice announcing the price increases to take effect from Tuesday.
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She said: "For season ticket buyers like me we are expected to pay around £869 per year instead of £630 per year - an increase of 38 per cent.
"I put up with parking in what amounted to a muddy field while they were building the new car park but consoled myself with the thought of the new car park.
"I think it is disgusting that FCC can do this and get away with it, with no notice at all. I am not alone judging by the shouting match going on with various other car park users this morning and the FCC staff. We are already subjected to treatment like cattle on early-morning trains."
Her season ticket will be valid until it runs out but day ticket holders have had to pay the higher price immediately.
A spokesperson for FCC said it was difficult to give more notice because the original date of opening was delayed due to problems with the lifts.
He added: "The new car park offers a secure environment, improved accessibility and new technology. It has more than 800 spaces, good disability access and state-of-the-art CCTV on each level.
"It is manned 24 hours a day and is still very competitive with the other local car parks on daily, weekly and longer-term rates.
The older multi-storey, which is closer to the station, charges £5.10 a day and £818 for a year's season ticket while the Ridgmont Road ground level car park is £4.60 a day with an annual charge of £734.
FCC insists the new charges compare favourably with other stations like Bedford and Flitwick which charge £6.10 a day.