NORTHERN Rail has defended fines issued to motorists unable to park correctly on Lea Green station.

A number of users of the car park have expressed dismay after they were issued with tickets for not parking inside a designated bay.

The Star has previously reported issues of congestion at Lea Green station since the Express train was switched from stopping at nearby St Helens Junction.

Some expressed shock at the switch, which came shortly after an expanded 240-space car park was opened at Junction station.

Among those who have been issued with tickets is pensioner Dorothy Fairhurst, who catches a train at least twice a week and says she is seeking to appeal against a ticket which she was issued with.

She told the Star: "I've been doing this for years. Since that express train has stopped at Lea Green instead of the Junction I've found there's no parking places.

"What else can you do? There's no alternative, if you want to go and get a train you can't park anywhere else.

"It's not as if we have been parking there and haven't been using the train.

"When are they going to have a discussion to reverse it back to the Junction to accommodate people like us?"

When asked about the issue by the Star, a spokesman for Northern Rail said: “We understand the concerns of our customers regarding parking, but motorists must only use designated bays when leaving their vehicles at the station car park. Fines are only issued to motorists who park other than in accordance with this policy.

“We are currently looking at ways to increase the number of parking spaces at Lea Green, but in the meantime, remind motorists of the need to park responsibly.”

When contacted by the Star, in January, a spokesperson for TransPennine Express said: “Before TransPennine Express began operating services from Lea Green in 2018, we spoke with local stakeholders who felt that Lea Green had better road and transport links than St Helens Junction.

"We are also aware of the ongoing parking issues at Lea Green and we are working alongside other rail operators and the local council on the possibility of increasing the amount of car parking spaces at the station."