Free parking for commuters in Hertfordshire village

CAR park charges are set to be scrapped at a railway station after pressure from commuters, residents and their MP.

Train operator First Capital Connect (FCC) announced plans to abolish the charges at its Watton-at-Stone car park from January 1.

MP Oliver Heald said: “It was good news FCC wanted to improve Watton-at-Stone station car park, but the parking charges caused problems with commuters parking in nearby roads.

“Cllr Nigel Poulton and I monitored use of the car park and found it was not being used and asked FCC to look again at the charges and they agreed a review.

“I’m delighted they are reversing the policy with no charges in the New Year. This is an excellent Christmas present for the village and station users.”

FCC customer service director Keith Jipps said: “We reviewed occupancy figures, listened to the community and despite the investment we’ve made, decided that to provide free parking for our customers was the right thing to do.

“We’ve made a number of improvements at Watton-at-Stone including installing help points and resurfacing works. But we have listened and we want to make a real difference for our customers.”

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? It is not clear what this means for other station car parks around Times Territory.

FCC confirmed there would be no scrapping of fees at Knebworth, a village which is also affected by commuter parking.

A spokesman said new tariffs would be announced at the end of this week.