Hever station parking charges
On behalf of Hever commuters, Hever Residents Association were asked to meet with DPL to understand the forthcoming changes to parking.
The commercial background
The driveway to the station is a private road and the parking bays in front of the DPL’s station building are reserved for employees and visitors to that business. The old goods yard off to the right (north side) is for use by train travellers and is owned privately by two directors of DPL. For some years Southern have contributed to the cost of maintaining this car park but withdrew their funding at the beginning of 2017.
We understand that Southern’s contractual position is that they do not earn any income from train ticket sales. They are paid to run a service to a timetable irrespective of the number of passengers and so have no commercial necessity to support car parking. Despite several efforts by the DPL directors Southern have refused to discuss the matter any further.
The directors are local residents who have long supported the community and wish to maintain the parking facility for us all, but must find a way of recovering most of their costs now that Southern have withdrawn, a position which the HRA committee feel we all should support. The management of the day to day parking operation will be contracted to XXXX.
The directors have devised a parking charge level which is well below the charges at other station car parks in the area, and which they hope commuters will find affordable. They are committed to maintaining the facility for us all and are not intending the ‘hike’ the charges once people get used to parking there. See details below on how the charging mechanism will work.
One risk that both DPL and HRA are aware is that some train passengers will try to park their vehicles on the public lanes near the station which, being single track, are all unsuitable for this purpose. Horses, farm vehicles, vehicles with trailers, and HGVs have rights of use of these lanes and should not be obstructed. We will be taking advice from the local police on what steps can be taken to discourage any anti-social parking.
Rail users are being leafleted now and local residents, where we have their details, are being emailed to advise them that the charging system will be operational from 2nd January 2018.
How the Charging will work
This relies on a vehicle number recognition system which will be installed during December. Vehicles entering the private road will be logged in and out. There will be a 30 minute period of grace (no charge made) for any driver dropping off or collecting passengers from the station. After this a charge of XXX/day will be levied but with discounted charges for regular users.
To pay the charge you will need to use a mobile phone app provided by the car park operators within 24 hours, much like the Dartford Crossing system, and there will be an option to call from a phone. All parking issues (payments, levels of service, fines etc.) will be handled by this operator and not DPL.
See the note attached for fuller details.
Whilst this is a change which local residents may resent, HRA feel that the directors of DPL have been put in an invidious position after providing free parking for many years, and we should not expect them to extend their generosity further.