New car park plan

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COMMUTER parking woes could soon be over in Linlithgow with plans for a new car park at the east of the train station.

But parkers would have to pay and the 174 extra spaces created would only be available for three years.

Plans proposed by Auto porto Limited are for land previously occupied by the Jet filling station close to the railway line. The landowners Mactaggart and Mickel have taken the site off the market with long term intentions to pursue residential development, but in the short term, a temporary two-storey car park has been planned for residents and commuters.

Autoporto Limited met with First Scotrail last month who acknowledged an under-supply of parking spaces at the station. By providing the park and ride facility, Auto porto want to increase the number of rail commuters travelling which would reduce car numbers on roads, reduce carbon emissions and provide additional parking capacity for the town, especially as tourist numbers rise over the summer.

The car park will operate on a fully automated pay and display basis and there would be a flat rate of £5 per stay. Seven spaces would be allocated for disabled drivers and six for parent and child parking.

Linlithgow councillor Martyn Day said: “In the current financial situation this makes good business sense.

“Until we know what the time scale on the Winchburgh development is, there is going to be increasing pressure on Linlithgow as a rail commuter hub. There is growing demand in the short term and I think people will be willing to pay.

“It would fill a need where there’s a demand.”

A report from Autoporto Limited supporting the application filed this week states: “The applicant’s proposal will benefit local residents, the population of Linlithgow, First Scotrail and Park and Ride commuters alike. The environmental benefits of Park and Ride are well established and the facility will contribute greatly in this regard.”

But one commuter who regularly uses the Linlithgow to Edinburgh line said: “Parking for commuters is not the solution at the end of it - the bigger problem is for businesses and shop keepers in the town. We still have to see how far the new car park at the sports centre has gone to address the town’s parking problem.”