Fed-up commuters who struggle to park at Falkirk High face a wait until more spaces are built at the busy mainline railway station.
A plot of land in nearby Slamannan Road will be built on to increase capacity – but only when Falkirk Council and ScotRail can obtain funding.
It was revealed this week that the local authority has made an application to Network Rail’s Scottish Stations Fund to try to secure a grant for the scheme, although a decision is not expected until January at the earliest.
Falkirk High is one of the busiest stations in Scotland outwith the four main cities, but its elevated position on a steep hill – and a lack of any direct bus service – means many passengers rely on their cars to reach it.
As a result, securing a space can be a daily contest for commuters.
The Falkirk Herald reported last year that a plan to build a temporary multi-storey car park on the existing site was one of several options being considered by ScotRail, but this now appears unlikely to be brought forward.
Instead, a new barrier entry system will operate at the car park from the end of the month.
Tickets will be provided on entering the car park and validated for exit at pay stations before departing. ScotRail hopes this will discourage those who are not travelling by train from parking at the station, making it easier for customers to get a space.
The charge for using the car park, which provides more than 200 spaces, will remain unchanged at £2.50 per day.
Season ticket holders will still be offered reduced parking rates when they renew their passes. The free 30-minute drop-off facility will also continue.
A ScotRail spokeswoman said: “A new car park barrier is being introduced to make it easier for our customers to get a parking space at the station.”
Meanwhile, The Falkirk Herald can reveal demand for parking at the station is such that at least two entrepreneurial residents are offering private spaces for hire.
A website which offers off-street parking across the UK, mainly in people’s driveways, has several listings for Falkirk. One space close to the station is available for advance booking at £4 per day.
One enthusiastic customer posted a five star review: “Easy to find, convenient and clearly marked spot to park.”