A CONGESTION-BUSTING Park & Ride scheme in Solihull which could take over 23,000 journeys off the region’s roads every year and cut commuters’ journey times by half is being officially opened this week.
Transport authority Centro has extended the car park at Hampton-in-Arden rail station off Meriden Road, nearly doubling the number of spaces from 67 to 124.
It allows an extra 57 commuters to Park & Ride from the station, and will save those who normally drive into Birmingham over 20 minutes each way.
This is because the journey by train takes just 17 minutes compared to 38 by car.
Additionally, people who normally take the 37-minute journey by car into Coventry could also save a massive 25 minutes by using the new car park and catching the train.
The facility has been extended due to high demand for parking at the station causing the original spaces to fill up early in the morning.
This meant people often had to leave their cars in the undesignated area next to the authorised parking spaces.
Centro therefore took the opportunity to remodel and resurface this additional land to create a new car park layout providing local rail users with an extra 57 formal parking bays.
The original car park has already achieved the renowned Park Mark Safer Parking award for low crime and high safety standards.
Centro has installed new safety and security features to ensure the new spaces conform to the award’s strict criteria.
These include extra CCTV cameras, new lighting and a Help Point facility linked to the Network Safety and Security Centre.
This means Centro retains its record of having all 53 of its free heavy rail Park & Ride car parks certified by the coveted award.
New cycle storage facilities and security fencing have also been installed in the new car park extension.
There has also been new areas of landscaping.