December 07, 2002

Parking at stations

Patrick Crozier | Rail Miscellany | Railways - USA

I am going to comment on Cold Spring Shops commenting on Sharkblog commenting on San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). It's what blogging is all about.

The issue is parking at stations. "What's the issue?" you might think. If there are too many cars for the spaces then common sense would dictate the need to charge. But for some that counts as an infringement of their rights.

I am not sure if this is relevant or not but here in the UK several dedicated "parkway" stations have been built over recent years. These are stations which tend to be slightly out of town with large car parks which specifically cater to the drive-to-the-station market. This has always struck me as pretty sensible as people with cars do not particularly want to drive into the congested town to park and out of town parking spaces are presumably cheaper.

The only problem I can see is with timetabling. If you have both a parkway station and a town/city centre station that means making two stops rather than the normal one. Hey, if you have a second parkway station on the other side of town that means 3 stops. I wonder if this has been identified as a problem anywhere.

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Comments

Can't think of any city with multiple 'Parkways' on the same route.

A lot of the time, 'Parkway' means "it's miles from the town it's supposed to serve, but it's got a car park", just like the suffix 'Road' used to mean. Classic example was when they renamed "Bodmin Road" to "Bodmin Parkway" a few years back.

Some Parkways are on different routes that don't serve the city centre at all - for example, Bristol Parkway is on the London-Cardiff line which skirts the northern suburbs of Bristol (although a north-south cross-country trains and a few London trains call at both stations)

Didcot Parkway used to be plain "Didcot" until someone decided to make the place the railhead for large parts of south Oxfordshire. Most of the traffic is commuters into London, 40+ miles away.

Posted by Tim Hall on December 8, 2002

No, I can't think of anywhere with two parkway stations either. The point is that that is the logical end point.

Posted by Patrick Crozier on December 8, 2002

Suburban stops in addition to the downtown stops have some value. Alas, I'm unable to think of any additional examples to those I listed at the Shops, but with some Amtrak trains running through Los Angeles, I might have missed a couple of parkway type stations on the San Diego-Santa Barbara line. (That's another case of backwards fragmentation: at one time, it was Southern Pacific to the north and Santa Fe to the south. The tracks are still Union Pacific to the north and Burlington Northern Santa Fe to the south, with Amtrak running the through trains, the Los Angeles commuter authority as far south as Oceanside, and a San Diego authority Oceanside-San Diego.)

Posted by Stephen Karlson on December 9, 2002

There was a proposal to build an Edinburgh Parkway on the east side of town to serve London trains but as you say that would slow down the city centre to city centre traffic to the benefit of the airlines.
An alternative plan was to have it on the more populous west side with more trains originating from Glasgow thus preserving Edinburgh-London times.
Confusingly, "Edinburgh Park" station is now being built in the western suburbs but that will serve a business park rather than be a "parkway" station.

Posted by David Farrer on December 9, 2002

For those who are interested Stephen Karlson has posted up some remarks on the East Coast situation at

http://coldspringshops.blogspot.com/2002_12_01_coldspringshops_archive.html#85710971

Posted by Patrick Crozier on December 12, 2002

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