A station’s car park in Croydon will now be open to ‘short stay parking’ after a councilor complained it only catered for commuters.

The Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)-owned car park will now trial new one, two and four-hourly parking rates during a two-month trial period.

Kenley train station is nestled within lush green belt valleys and sits just south of Purley.

Your Local Guardian: Kenley stationKenley station

While the idyllic Croydon suburb has its own retail, restaurants, and pub, the station is largely used by commuters who use the station as a quick route to London Bridge.

This usage throughout the work week means the relatively small car park often receives a lot of custom from commuters working in the city.

However, the increased popularity of working from home since Covid means the car park often has many free bays during the week.

This issue is exacerbated by the fact that, before this trial, the car park only offered day rates priced at £5.70.

According to residents, this pricing meant that the area’s narrow residential side streets often took the burden of shoppers and local parking.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), Purley resident and regular Kenley visitor Marjorie said: “I like Kenley, it’s a really nice place to visit, especially on sunny days like this. Parking’s always a risk though.

"You never know if there will be any free bays left by the shops when you get there, and you don’t have a chance on yellow lines around here.

"The station car park costs so much as well, they only really cater for rich commuters.”

Another visitor, Alan, told the LDRS: “This place gets rammed in the morning rush.

"The roads are so narrow and everyone fights the available free bays on nearby streets. I think people are just scared to park in the station car park at the moment.”

These concerns over parking led Kenley’s locals to raise the issue with their councillors in an attempt to reclaim the car park.

The cause was taken up by local Conservative Councillor Gayle Gander, who took the issue up with GTR.

GTR subsequently agreed to trial the suggestions, with commercial director David Gornall saying: “We hope these more flexible choices prove popular as we expect the new charging structure to be a win-win – good value and convenience for the local community and more revenue for the railway.”

Instead of the full weekday tariff of up to £5.70, car park customers can now stay for up to an hour for £1, two hours for £2, or four hours for £4.

Weekend prices will remain unchanged at £2.40 for a full day, and a weekly season ticket is still available for £24.40.

When approached for comment, Councillor Gander said: “I am pleased that GTR has taken this proactive step to addressing residents’ needs, by diversifying the tariff structure at Kenley station for at least a trial period. The new options are likely to be made permanent if they prove popular, so I encourage people to take advantage of the convenient new parking provision.”

The trial will run until March 11, after which GTR will decide whether to adopt the amended rates full-time or not.