Rail passengers who have a daily struggle to find a space to park their car at their local station could soon be taking advantage of the latest technology.
ScotRail is looking at the possibility of introducing a multi-storey parking system to solve the problem and has asked Falkirk Council for its view.
The modular car parks being considered could be installed on top of existing tarmac or newly surfaced areas. The free-standing decks would create extra space instantly and without the need for costly foundations having to be excavated and laid.
ScotRail says more parking at stations will support the growing demand for rail travel.
The train operator has already contacted companies who specialise in supplying modular car parking to explore ways of increasing spaces in large and small areas or provide short-term alternatives while long-term solutions to the demand are found.
Meetings with local authorities and business organisations are underway to deliver a scheme which will encourage more people to reduce the miles they travel by car by letting the ‘train take the strain’ instead.
Councillor Dennis Goldie, convener of Falkirk Council’s economic strategy and development committee, is supporting the novel idea.
He said: “Encouraging the growth of public transport is very important to our area and we need to recognise that there is an ever increasing demand for car parking at our local stations. We would broadly welcome any move that can help alleviate the parking issue in and around stations and ultimately help with a more sustainable approach to public transport.”
Sean Duffy, ScotRail’s commercial director, said: “We play a key role in supporting Scotland’s economy and with this in mind are keen to work with local authorities, business organisations and others on developing and implementing of their economic development strategies.
“One focus is car parking, with access to rail particularly important for commuters as well as visitors to Scotland. We are delivering more car parking spaces to support the growing demand for rail travel but looking to the future and want to ensure all opportunities are taken forward.”
Passengers numbers at 81.1 million are at an all time high. Modular car parking is being used increasingly in England as a cost effective answer to traffic congestion and as an attractive option to ease the issues of parking at stations.
The proposed system could also help the council solve the problem it is facing providing enough space for commuters who depend on Falkirk High Station.
In 2007 it used East Scotland Transport Partnership funding to buy land for a new car park. But the discovery of Japanese Knotweed on the site has stopped any construction work starting. It will only be allowed to proceed once it has been eradicated which is not due to happen until the summer of 2015 at the earliest.