Parking charges plan for Gobowen Railway Station
Commuters could be forced to pay to park at a Shropshire railway station for the first time under new charges proposed by Shropshire Council.
Gobowen station, on the Chester to Shrewsbury line, is one of only a few left in the UK where train travellers don't have to pay for parking spaces.
Supporters of the plan say it will stop commuters from outside the area driving to Gobowen simply to take advantage of a free space.
It is one of a series of proposals that have been put forward by Shropshire Council in a countywide look at changes to charges.
Shropshire Council says it wants to standardise parking charges across the county.
Gobowen parish councillor David Lloyd, said the parish has long wanted to see charging brought in for rail travellers at the station with some spaces reserved for short stay shoppers.
"It is crazy that a station car park, which has lighting and CCTV cameras, has no charges," he said.
"Bringing in charges makes total sense and is something that the parish council has been looking at itself, but there have always been obstacles in our way.
"Rail travellers drive from miles away to Gobowen to avoid having to pay for parking at their local station. Since charges were introduced at Ruabon we have noticed a marked increase in vehicles as drivers come across the border for free parking."
He said there were concerns that more rail commuters may try to find free, on-street parking in Gobowen in residential areas.
"Yes it might mean more people parking on the street, but we already get that anyway all over the village," he said.
"You cannot get a parking station in the car park after 9am and it is unfair on villagers who want to park and local people who want to use the pharmacy, post office or do some shopping can not get a space."
Councillor Lloyd said he would like to see a number of spaces at the front of the car park reserved for shoppers and said it would be something he would be investigating.