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Station car park charges relaxed

Friday 13th April 2018

COUNCILLORS have welcomed a change in car park charges at East Farleigh train station – but there are still concerns that the measures don’t go far enough.

A £4 a day charge was introduced at the station in January as rail operator Southeastern decided to end the free parking provision at a number of stations in the county.

The biggest effect of the changes has so far proven to be on local pub The Victory, whose customers use the car park.

Local councillors Matt Boughton and Fay Gooch were both in dialogue with the train operator about these issues, and there has now been a concession that charges will not apply after 6pm on weekdays or at all at weekends or bank holidays.

Cllr Boughton (Con), who represents Fant on Maidstone Borough Council, said: “This is quite a good result. It hasn’t resolved the whole problem but it’s something.

“I am pleased that common sense has prevailed. It will make a huge difference to the pub and to people who want to visit the Medway Valley area at the weekends who are unable to walk down there.

“There is obviously a separate issue in the daytimes with people parking and that is still ongoing. It was a financial decision made in London and I am glad that the representations myself and Fay Gooch have made have helped this change. It’s crucial for the pub, as it’s not in an urban area but there is nowhere to park except there.”

While the pub’s lunchtime trade is still likely to be affected, Cllr Gooch – an independent who represents Barming & Teston ward – has other concerns about where people are parking.

“This was the best we could come up with,” she added. “I must say they’ve been really good and I’ve glad they’ve listened.

“But this won’t solve the on-road parking issues, as commuters have taken to parking their cars on the road and that is not only causing congestion but is also dangerous.

“We may have to consider putting yellow lines in, but at least for now we have a compromise.”