Station not geared up for cars
WHILE the introduction to your item on Parking ban on commuters (October 3) makes for grabbing headlines, the story omits or chooses to ignore the reality of the situation. Train users parking off-station are not trying to avoid £5.40 parking charges .
WHILE the introduction to your item on "Parking ban on commuters" (October 3) makes for grabbing headlines, the story omits or chooses to ignore the reality of the situation.
Train users parking off-station are not trying "to avoid £5.40 parking charges". The real issue is a totally inadequate supply of parking at St Neots station after about 8.15am any weekday in term time. Even with the imaginative double parking that takes place, the car park is full.
This is a situation that will only worsen with more housing in the town. It is aggravated by the residents of Cambourne finding St Neots a far easier rail station to access than Cambridge, despite Cambourne being developed as a growth area for that city but, due to outdated Green Belt controls, being constructed miles out of the city.
If the council proceeds with parking bans before adequately resolving - with developers, the train operator and Network Rail - substantial extra station parking, the situation will only worsen. The promise of another 50 spaces sometime in the future, and the vague longer-term possibility of another 150, does nothing to resolve the immediate problems.
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Remember, St Neots station serves not only that town but also the many villages in a 15-20 mile radius of St Neots. As for "taking a bus" to and from the station, chance would be a fine thing.
Also, before the inevitable letters from the cycling fraternity appear, while biking to the station from within St Neots may be feasible, the prospect of a 20-mile cycle round trip in winter to get to the station by 7.30am and back after 6.30pm is also not a realistic option.
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Similar comments apply equally to the parking situation at Huntingdon station, and this is before the guided bus creates additional park-and-ride demand in Huntingdon.
The county and district councils need urgently to address the current problems, and consider the impact of introducing premature restrictions before proper solutions are in place.
RICHARD LAMBERT, Castle Gardens, Kimbolton