THE car park at Broadway Railway Station has been officially reopened.

The station was reopened last Easter by the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway after almost 60 years of closure.

Since the station was reopened, the line has carried more than 144,000 passengers - an increase of over 42 per cent compared with the previous year.

The car park was paid for with £650,000 from Wychavon District Council on land provided by the railway.

With 85 spaces, it is designed to discourage parking on the main road and provide safe parking for those having a day out on the steam railway.

It includes a grassy area next to the line that can be used for picnics. Later this year electric vehicle charging units will be installed.

Wychavon deputy leader Richard Morris said: "This is a fantastic investment in a popular tourist attraction and is a great boost for the local economy.

"The incredible work of the volunteers to keep this historic heritage offering thriving is humbling to see and I’m so pleased that we can support it along with the business and tourist economy.”

Railway chairman Richard Johnson said: “The railway’s success since we extended the line and opened Broadway station – which is a brand new replacement of the one demolished by British Railways in 1963, three years after it closed – has been astonishing.

"Our first train from Cheltenham to Broadway is often full of travellers who then visit the village and enjoy all that it offers. Anecdotally, traders tell us that the railway has made a positive impact.

“It has been a pleasure working with Wychavon to come up with this car parking solution. It means that visitors can more easily start their journey from Broadway, perhaps returning to spend time in the village during the evening.

“I’m absolutely delighted that our railway, which is almost entirely run by volunteers, has had such a positive impact on the local community.”

Charges for parking range from 50p for half an hour up to £5 for ten hours.

Those buying a £5 ticket can get a £3 discount on a train ticket for the same day. Tickets can be bought with cash or the RingGo app, as in other Wychavon car parks.