Car parking charges being introduced by Northern at Alnmouth railway station

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Northern has announced plans to introduce parking charges at Alnmouth railway station.

Alnmouth station’s car park is split into two separate areas, with only one having a fee.

The northbound car park, owned by Northumberland County Council, has had a daily £1.50 fee along with a 72-hour maximum stay restriction, with no return within six hours, since 2018.

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The southbound car park is managed by Network Rail and has been free with no time restrictions until now.

Alnmouth railway station.Alnmouth railway station.
Alnmouth railway station.

Alnmouth station is owned by Network Rail but managed by Northern Trains, who announced that starting Monday December 11, parking charges will be introduced at more stations ‘to help maximise car park capacity for rail users’.

This means that both the northbound and southbound platform car parks will require a fee to park, both with time restrictions.

Its website states: ‘Costs will be a maximum of £2 per day, with some locations offering a short-stay option for 50p and resident permits for parking from 4pm to 8am’.

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A Northern spokesperson said: “We’re introducing charges at these locations to ensure that our car parking facilities remain available for rail users only, as well as to align these stations with our other locations that saw the introduction of charges in 2022.

“As in other Northern locations, the RingGo service will be used to handle online, app and phone payments and there will no cash option available.”

Alnmouth Railway User Group (ARUG) expressed disappointment with the announcement but pointed out that the disparity between the northbound car park and the southbound car park was inevitably going to get corrected at some point.

A committee member for ARUG said: "I suppose all that’s really happening is that we’re catching up with the other car parks around the county.

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Other stations in Northumberland have had parking charges for some time but the group question whether commuters are being treated as fairly as shoppers who have the advantage of free parking in county council car parks.

They continued: "I thought we were meant to be encouraging people to get out of their cars and use the train?

"Our primary concern is that it might possibly dissuade people from using the train and that's got to be a detrimental thing, both in terms of the environment and reducing numbers of cars using the roads.”