Rail passengers using Johnstone station are set to benefit from a new, larger car park by April 2015.
ScotRail has announced plans to provide a further 80 spaces with the addition of a second level to the existing car park, which will boost capacity by almost a quarter. The work is being funded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and Transport Scotland.
The enlarged facility will increase capacity from 335 to 415 spaces (+24%) to meet demand from the growing number of passengers using Johnstone station each day.
Johnstone serves as a hub for a number of outlying communities. Many people drive to the station before continuing their journey by train along the Glasgow or Ayr corridors.
Construction of the single deck extension will begin on Monday 17 November and is scheduled to continue until April 2015.
From the 17th the number of spaces available will temporarily reduce to 104 to allow construction to take place. All 11 Blue Badge spaces will remain.
SPT director of projects, Charles Hoskins, said: “SPT is pleased to be able to support the car park extension by providing £985,000 in grant funding this year. Sites like Johnstone have proven vital in helping grow local public transport networks and SPT is committed to working in partnership to deliver strategic transport solutions such as this.
“Passengers will no doubt benefit from the improvements in the longer term but we would also urge anyone intending to use the car park in the next few months to plan ahead. Have a look at SPT’s JourneyShare as there may be other commuters in your area considering the same travel.
“Alternatively there are also good local bus connections near the station.”
Given the reduction, ScotRail is urging car drivers who normally park at Johnstone to consider other travel options. It has listed these on a dedicated web page.
Pat Callaghan, director of facilities at ScotRail, said: “The enlarged car park will provide significant benefits to the growing number of passengers who use the station as part of their daily commute.
“However, during construction, we appreciate that some adjustment to travel plans may be required. We are encouraging people to consider whether they could use alternative stations, get dropped off instead of driving themselves, or take the bus to Johnstone or Glasgow.
“Walking or cycling are also good options for those who are able to do so; we’ve installed extra cycle spaces to encourage this.”
Rail tickets will be valid from alternative* stations – even if the journey is longer.
Another option for drivers to consider is SPT’s free JourneyShare scheme. The initiative delivers significant savings in costs, congestion and pollution by allowing drivers to identify others in their area who are looking to car share.
A communications campaign to inform customers about the car park construction begins shortly. It will include station posters, announcements on-train and customer leaflets.
Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “This investment is very good news for rail passengers and local residents. Johnstone station is an increasingly important part of the rail network and the additional parking space will reflect that role and give more people the option of including rail transport in their journey plans. Renfrewshire Council has long supported this proposal and we welcome this investment from SPT.”
*Alternative stations are: Port Glasgow, Woodhall, Langbank, Bishopton, Paisley St James and Paisley Gilmour St (ie all stations between Port Glasgow and Paisley Gilmour St), plus Howwood, Milliken Park and Paisley Canal.