There used to be an ad that said, "Let the train take the strain". But now we can't take the train, because of the strain.
Our local train station is Mossley West in Newtownabbey.
Despite suffering from Parkinson's disease personally and my wife having arthritis, we can just about make it up and down the steep climb from the car park to the platform, but we cannot get parked anywhere near the station.
From early morning to teatime, all spaces in the station car park and the overflow in the car park of the nearby hockey club are filled, including the ridiculously inadequate two disabled spaces.
Parking restrictions apply in the adjacent street and the nearest possible space to be found is in the streets of Mossley estate, which is several hundred metres away.
Parking here is not appreciated by local residents, as they have no driveways and covet the spaces for their own vehicles.
This is also too far for older folk, or anyone with a disability, to walk and dropping off passengers in the station car park is often difficult, due to illegally parked cars.
Does this matter? I am sure it does, as our roads get more and more congested. Train travel is quick and the carriages are comfortable, with seats available most times.
Is this problem unique to the station at Mossley West? Perhaps. But I don't think so.
Are there any solutions? I have suggestions, but research would need to be carried out to test their effectiveness.
Perhaps the most relevant question is: does anyone care enough to do anything - especially Northern Ireland Railways? Otherwise, my train travel dream will vanish like the steam locomotives of my youth.
frustrated rail passenger
Newtownabbey, Co Antrim