Network Rail has today defended its policy of charging motorists £55 for a four-hour stay at one of the country’s main railway stations.
The car park at Birmingham New Street, which is run by NCP, was criticised by the GMB trade union, which named it as one of the most expensive in the country.
The union said the £3.90 charge to park for up to one hour at the station and higher charges for longer stays showed the extent to which money was being ‘extracted’ from drivers.
Motorists are charged £3.90 for an hour, £11 for two hours, £35 for three, and £55 for four. And if motorists stay longer they have to pay even more – £20 for each extra 60 minutes.
But a spokesman for Network Rail said the car park at New Street was intended as a drop-off area and offered free parking for 20 minutes.
‘Charges apply after 20 minutes to dissuade long-term parking which would prevent it being used as a drop-off area,’ the spokesman stressed.
A spokesman for NCP declined to comment on the charges, except to say that the car park was operated for Network Rail and that he concurred with the comments made by its spokesman.