Diss rail station parking problems eased

Improvement works at a key station in Norfolk have been celebrated following the completion of the car park extension.

Increasing demand from commuters using the Norwich-London mainline has caused traffic gridlock at Diss station car park.

But congestion has been eased following the opening of an extra 69 spaces on a disused rail yard, off Station Road.

The �400,000 investment by National Express East Anglia was welcomed by councillors on Tuesday. However, more needs to be done to alleviate traffic problems in the area, said Tony Palmer, chairman of the Diss Rail Station Task Group.

Mr Palmer said that it was 'incredible' how quickly the new parking spaces at the station had been filled up.

'It shows the need and this is no doubt a help, but it will not solve the parking problems and we may need to think of other things,' he said.

Mr Palmer added that the larger car park could pave the way for a bus service or a park-and-ride service from the town centre to ease the traffic problems around the railway station.

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The extension means that Diss – a key gateway on the Norwich-London line – has 239 spaces.

Mark Phillips, operations and planning director at National Express East Anglia, which is bidding to renew its regional rail franchise, said the company was unable to provide any more parking spaces because of space and land restrictions. He added that there had been an additional 4,200 seats on mainline trains between Norwich and London Liverpool Street since December.

'I am delighted that our customers using Diss station will now benefit from the 69 additional car parking spaces, making it easier to park at this busy station. The work at Diss is another key project in our service improvement plan, improving seating capacity and car parking,' he said.

Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for travel and transport, added: 'I welcome the completion of the works to improve the car park at Diss rail station, which complements the access improvements, information boards and cycle racks that the county council recently funded at the station.'