Govia announce new car park procedures for Ashtead Station and 6 other Surrey Stations. (Article courtesy of ESSN Media)
Motorists who try to avoid paying for parking are going to have their cars clamped at seven Southern train stations in Surrey. A letter sent by Southern's parent company Govia to station staff says clamping will be used later this year to target drivers who have multiple unpaid penalty notices. The seven affected stations are: Redhill, Dorking, Leatherhead, Oxted, Ashtead, Upper Warlingham and Lingfield.
It forms part of an overhaul of how parking is managed at the stations and is an attempt to "increase revenue" at the firm's car parks. As well as the clamping, Govia is introducing an automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR). The new cameras will identify and capture the number plate of a vehicle when it enters and exits the car park, before calculating the expected payment value.
The value will then be cross-checked with existing parking permits and with tickets paid for by motorists that day. If the payments do not match up then the owner of the car will be slapped with a £100 fine - however, this will be reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.
A total of 25 station car parks across the Govia network are part of the project, which is set to "go live" by the end of September, according to the letter. The letter adds: "This system increases the revenue at our car parks as all usage is managed and monitored by the cameras." Users who try to avoid payment will no longer be able to do this as they will be issued with a penalty notice for every occasion they fail to pay.
"People who use this station facility are obliged to pay for the time period they parked.” "Clamping will be used to address those users with multiple outstanding penalty notices.” "These vehicles will be identified by the patrol teams and through the ANPR system and a vehicle immobilisation device (clamp) fitted."
Car parks are currently patrolled by a company called Indigo, and the letter insists that its role "will not change at all". It said: "Patrollers will still visit the car parks as normal and will still issue penalty notices for the misuse of restricted areas such as disabled bays, 20-minute pick-up and drop-off bays, premier bays, double yellow lines and staff areas."
Other key stations listed in the letter, which will also be part of the ANPR system, include car parks at Three Bridges and East Grinstead. A spokesman for Govia said: "Automatic number plate recognition systems are part of the modernisation of our network to improve our passengers' experience.” "Users of car parks that already have the systems tell us they appreciate the convenience of not having to go back to their car to display a ticket - which can save a long walk across a large car park.” "There is no change to parking regulations or penalties.” "Our patrol staff can focus on providing more security, checking correct use of bays for disabled people, cleaning and maintenance."
Comment - The Residents' Association has written to its contact in Southern to enquire where the ANPR cameras are to be situated? Ashtead Station Car park has one entrance and exit which is used not only by people parking to use the trains, but by people just driving through to pick up people who have just arrived by train. We have concerns that everyone will be charged whether they park or not, and that this might force drivers waiting to pick up passengers to park in nearby roads increasing congestion. Having just achieved two-way traffic in Woodfield Lane we don't want to reteurn to the 'bad old days" of traffic queues. Southern's response will be published here when received.
Changes to services during Waterloo Improvement Works 5th to 28th August 2017
London Waterloo is Britain's busiest station and a vital part of one of the most heavily used railways in the country. In the last 20 years, passenger journeys on the railway have almost doubled to 234 million.
The Waterloo and South West Upgrade programme is an £800 million investment to create 30% more space for passengers during the busiest times of the day.
- 30 brand new trains, provising 150 extra carriages from April this year.
- Allowing longer trains on suburban routes from December 2017.
- Longer trains to Reading from December 2017.
- Five brand new platforms at Waterloo allowing more trains every hour by December 2018.
- Creating a bigger and better Waterloo, and
- New technology to make trains more efficient and improve punctuality.
From 5th to 28th August, platforms 1 -9 at waterloo will be closed so work can start to extend the platforms for longer trains. During this time South West trains will not be able to run as many services. For some stations this will involve reductions in services and for others (not Ashtead), closure. There will also be some changes to weekend services between April and October so check with Rail Information before travelling. Ashtead is scheduled to be "busier than usual and have fewer services."
To try to help travellers during this time longer trains will run throughout the day to help people travel at different times and Platforms 20-24 (the old Eurostar platforms) will be used.
For more detailed train service information, advice and an "at a glance" service Map, visit http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/wswupgrade.
We have chased Southern via their local Manager for an update on outstanding works at Ashtead Station.
a) An off-peak parking fee. There is now an off-peak tariff of £2.50 will apply from 2.30pm until 4.30pm Monday to Friday. The "Free" period is from 4.30pm. New signs have been erected now showing all the tariffs as follows:-
Daily Ticket £5.50; Off-Peak Ticket (2.30pm to 4.30pm) £2.50; Saturday £3.30; Sunday £2.00; Weekly £23.00; Monthly £86.00; Quarterly £240.00 & Annual £895.00.
NOTE: The new off-peak tickets can only be bought from the station booking office. The machines located in the car park can only produce full day tickets.
b) The ARA is still pressing for a "20 Minute Waiting Area" to be created in the car park opposite the disabled spots.
c) Sadly when replacing the poles and creating a new kerb the opportunity was NOT taken to create a ramp for wheelchairs, pushchairs and wheeled cases onto the pavement. We have asked that a pole be removed and a dropped kerb installed.
d) Indigo (previously Meteor) the Car Park company for GTR (Southern) do not intend replacing the broken car park ticket machine and those remaining will still not take 10p coins (so how do you pay 30p you ask? And so do we!!!)
e) We have requested a pedestrian route be painted from the Common footpath across the car park to alert drivers to the possibility of pedestrians crossing at that point. We have witnessed drivers driving far too fast through that pinch point. This too is in discussion with Southern.