COMMUTERS returning to work in the new year will be greeted by a price hike at the district's tube station car parks.

Transport for London (TfL) has announced its daily parking fees at Buckhurst Hill, Debden, Epping, Loughton and Theydon Bois car parks will go up from January 5.

Motorists parking at Epping station will be forced to pay a maximum of £6 on weekdays - a 50p rise from the current tariff and well above the London Underground car park average of £5.07.

The biggest hikes come in Debden and Theydon Bois, where weekday fees will rise from £3.50 to £5 - an increase of more than 40 per cent.

In Buckhurst Hill and Loughton, fees will rise from £4.50 to £5 a day.

Saturday parking fees will rise from £1.50 to £2 in Buckhurst Hill, Debden, Epping and Loughton and will double from £1 to £2 in Theydon Bois.

And on Sundays maximum tariffs will rise from £1 to £1.50 at all stations.

Commuters are already facing an increase in London bus and Tube fares, which will shoot up by 4.2 per cent in January.

But TfL says the increases will bring prices 'more into line' with other local car parks and that revenues will be reinvested into car parks and the transport network.

Director of commercial development Graeme Craig said: "We have taken the decision to increase the tariffs at many of our car parks to bring them in line with local competitors, however, we have kept the changes to a minimum.

"Some stations will actually see a decrease or no changes to their current weekday or weekend tariffs.

"This is the first increase in charges in more than two years and our charges remain below the market rate."

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