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Station parking can't cope with congestion charge

RAIL STATIONS near London must provide 17,000 extra parking spaces to cater for a deluge of new users when congestion charging is launched in London next February, parking provider NCP warned this week.

Thousands of extra spaces will be needed because after the £5 toll is launched, more city workers will park at outer London stations and catch a train.

NCP research director Tony Cedric said he expected 10% of 265,000 drivers that currently enter central London to divert to the train.

'Out of that 26,500 however, we expect 70% will still start their journey by car and drive to their local station. That's 17,000 extra spaces needed for them to park.

'Pretty well every car park is full to capacity already by 7.30am. Where are you going to put the extra cars?' he asked.

This week train operating company First Great Western, which provides parking at several satellite stations west of London, said that it was 'actively considering' the congestion charging effects but no extra parking had yet been planned.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesman said it was expecting some additional park and ride in and around London in response to congestion charging but such action would be spread very thinly over a very wide area.

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