Park and ride services are becoming an increasingly popular choice for commuters.
They allow motorists to leave their car in specially designated parking facilities which are situated adjacent to a public transport facility. Commuters can then continue on their journey using the appropriate public transport service.
Basically, the service allows people to drive their cars to the parking lots and leave their car behind whilst they travel onwards to their destination, usually situated within an urban area. Commuters then return by public transport on the same day. Park and ride services are not designed for overnight or long term parking.
The advantages of park and ride
By providing parking spaces on the urban edge, park and ride services they help to keep down congestion levels on busy roads within town centres. This also helps to keep pollution to a minimum in populated areas.
Drivers can avoid the expense of using a parking bay within the urban area, as well as the stress involved in trying to locate such a parking space.
An increase in popularity of the service has resulted in a wider coverage, thus boosting the convenience on offer.
Although popular amongst commuters, there is resistance to the growing spread of the service from certain quarters. Some believe that the park and ride service has a negative effect on traffic patterns in rural areas.
Paul Hamblin, Head of Transport for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), explained, “Increasingly large areas of countryside are being buried under tarmac in the name of sustainable transport. But in reality, almost every trip relies on using the car at one or both ends. These schemes do not reduce our dependency on the car.”
CPRE want to see better public transport that reaches peoples doors, not more park and ride schemes. Find out more at www.cpre.org.uk.
The park and ride database
Most park and ride services can be found by using the National Park and Ride Directory database.
Commuters can enter the details of their area to locate their nearest and most convenient park and ride services. The database includes information about public transport links, car park facilities such as costs and security, as well as offering maps and sat-nav co-ordinates.
Before you use a park and ride
Motorists should ensure that they have adequate car insurance before using a park and ride service. If the car does not have insurance its possible to get a car insurance quote quickly by phoning an insurance broker or by requesting auto insurance quote online.
The insurance policy will offer guidelines that need to be followed, but its best to check that the park and ride facilities offer surveillance and security before making use of them.