COUNCILLOR Richard Morris has called on West Midlands Railway (WMR) to negotiate “a better outcome” than planned parking charges at Droitwich train station.

Passengers will have to pay to use the facility that currently has 45 spaces from Sunday, August 18 in an area that already suffers from commuters parking in residential areas.

WMR had planned to introduce a daily charge of £4.50 at Droitwich and eight other sites but reduced that to £3. Car park season tickets will start at £1.12 per day.

“I am disappointed by the charges. I know the issues many residents around the station face with commuters parking in the area,” said Cllr Morris, deputy leader of Wychavon District Council.

“My concern is that those issues will be exacerbated. I fully understand people need to use the trains but I would like to see a better pricing system.

“I welcome the reduction, in many respects £3 per day does not seem too bad. It would be a good price in most cities, it is just the location close to where people can park for nothing.

“It is not a matter of the charging, it is more about looking at it strategically to try to find an overall solution.

“It is an old part of the town with terraced housing that has some off-road parking but not for every house. Often residents cannot park outside their homes if they go out during the day.

“We need to find a balance, we want commuters and the trains to be used.

“I would like to see the various stakeholders sat round a table to try to get a better outcome to see how we can use space for car parking near the station in a better way.

“One of my goals has always been to help find a solution to the residential parking issue around old Droitwich. It is a question I have raised at county council meetings as well as the station and have had meetings to try to move things forward.

“I am still happy to push for a stakeholder meeting if West Midlands Rail are happy to come to the table and talk.”

Spokesperson Francis Thomas said WMR would be open to a collaboration but defended the proposals, highlighting plans to invest in CCTV and lighting to improve car parks where charges will be introduced.

“We have been consulting extensively with councils at all stations where the charges are coming in,” said Mr Thomas.

"That’s one of the reasons we brought in much lower charges than originally anticipated, to make it more affordable and we still think it is a fair deal all round for the taxpayer.

“We are happy to engage with councils on station travel planning to try to reduce the need for cars into all of our stations, we want to reduce the dependency on people driving.”