PARKING charges at Northwich Railway Station appear to be imminent as signs have now been erected.

The signs are currently covered with bin bags and parking remains free at this time, but the signs are confirmation that rail users will soon have to pay to park at the station. 

The Guardian has contacted Northern to ask about the signs and to expect a response next week.

In the mean time, Guardian reporter Matt Addison went along to the station to ask rail users what they think of the prospect of paying to park there. 

Dennis Oultram, of Salkeld Street, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the station, said: “People just won’t use it. They’ll park in side streets instead.

“People will stop using the car parking facilities. The parking charges in Knutsford mean people park anywhere along the street without paying. After 6pm I believe it’s free but all the shops are shut by then.”

Northwich Guardian:

Liz Woodyatt, who has lived in Northwich all her life, said: “It’s ridiculous. I just don’t understand it. I just feel sorry for the people around here.

“I think it’s awful because everywhere you go it’s not free parking in Northwich. It’s ridiculous – they put free parking up but then they start limiting it. That’s one of the things that attracts people to here – as soon as you give anything it’s taken away.

“I think they’ll just annoy people. I don’t know about stopping them coming to Northwich. I think they will just park somewhere else – where, I don’t know.

“I was only thinking the other day how convenient it is to travel on the train. It’s not fair because you’re taking money away from the train as well – people will think about going in the car. All they’re doing is aggravating people.”

Dan Williamson, from Greenbank, said: “It just kind of slows everything down really. It makes everything a bit more difficult. I think it might (put people off using the station).”

Northwich Guardian:

Hilary Howman said: “I don’t use it very much – very little at all. I don’t know where else to go – you have to pay everywhere.”

Iris Yarwood added: “It’s a shame for the town.”

Northwich Guardian:

Michaela Watson said: “I think it’s absolutely awful. I don’t understand why. Who’s profiting from it?

“Everywhere is becoming a car park charge, and Northwich is in such a state, I just think it’s awful. I think it’s horrible.

“I live in Hartford and we have the same problem with people parking all along Chester Road there.”

She did admit, however, that she can understand the decision to an extent, adding: “There is two sides to every story: there is an influx of people coming in to use trains to London and Birmingham, places like that, and they get free parking, so I can understand that side of things. It has been free for a long time. It’s just a pain for local people.”

Steve Durrands said: “I’d probably stop coming. They’ve already got rid of a lot of free parking where they put the Asda – that’s free for the minute but they will start charging there soon. They want to make money. Parking charges annoy me.”

Lynn Durrands added: “It will stop people coming in I think if charges keep being added across the town.”

One person, who wishes to remain anonymous, is not too bothered by the charges.

They said: “It doesn’t bother me really. You pay for parking most places. I don’t think it will make any difference – they do it at Hartford Station, don’t they?”

The exact date when the parking charges will come in is unclear, but the signs have already been erected.