AN INNOVATIVE way of building train station car parks could benefit supporters of a new stop between Hillfoot and Milngavie - says a rail expert.
ScotRail is looking at a new modular car parking initiative to increase the number of spaces at stations and the proposed Allander rail halt could be an ideal location for one said Ken Sutherland, research officer for the pressure group, Railfuture Scotland.
Modular car parks are free-standing decks which can be installed on top of existing car parks or placed on new surface areas without needing traditionally excavated foundations.
Mr Sutherland welcomeed ScotRail’s initiative to achieve increased station car parking capacity by introducing ‘modular units’ as a cost-effective way of meeting the growing demand for rail travel.
He said at the moment there was a suppressed demand for rail travel and there was “much potential growth in rail travel, especially at off-peak times.”
Mr Sutherland, from Bearsden, said: “Installation of modular car parking technology, will hopefully resolve not only today’s problem of suppressed demand for more rail travel, but also undo previous damage inflicted by British Railways Property Board’s vicious policy of selling-off of railway land and goods sidings adjacent to stations.”
The rail expert believes said that using appropriately sensitive designs this technology could give a major boost to the case for a new Allander halt.
Cala Homes wants to build hundreds of new houses as part of the proposed Kilmardinny Development project, and a new station - the Allander halt - between Hillfoot and Milngavie is being planned as part of that.
Mr Sutherland said: “There is potential for 300-400 park and ride spaces which could now be easily integrated into the massive Lower Kilmardinny development site, alongside this electrified line.
“It would offer a coherent and acceptable alternative to intrusive and objectionable car parking now choking adjoining residential roads in Bearsden/Milngavie, and equally lethal absurdity of the main A81 Milngavie Road now being used as an all-day ‘linear car park’ serving Hillfoot station.”
A modular carpark at Bearsden station (pictured above) could also double the amount of space available to around 200.
Mr Sutherland said because the station sits in a hollow it would not be too intrusive, adding: “The current provision is grossly inadquate to meet the demand.
“It’s not just the dangerous and intrusive overspill parking into adjoining Pendicle Road/Ledcameron and West Chapelton areas which is a real and growing problem - equally, many car users from the expanding areas of north Bearsden off Drymen Road and Duntocher Road are now effectively denied and discouraged use of Bearsden station due to the obvious lack of parking provision.”
However, Mr Sutherland recognised this type of structure is not suitable for all stations.
He said: “Milngavie station would probably not be a suitable site because of it’s visual impact on the surrounding area and there are site constraints at Hillfoot station.”