According to the signs there were 894 vacant spaces today at 10:00am!
The much, much smaller Tonsley carpark was approaching full.
That would be because the Tonsley Park complex is currently closed for a week of intensive infrastructure works, to reopen next Monday.
When it's open, the park and ride is always close to full while the gravel parking at Tonsley is often half-empty.
The EMU times are constrained by the delayed clearing of signals at level crossings which leads to preceding yellows and associated 40kph limit and the TSRs for sighting at level and ped crossings.
So, something which should be fixed if/when ETCS goes live?
It would be good if there was an interconnecting minibus to Woodlands Park after that time.
This could be provided without setting up a dedicated roster by restoring the 241 to its previous route (it used to incorporate the full length of the Tonsley bustitute* route) and timing it to provide that connection with the trains. If you're going to put people onto buses, they may as well be proper bus services which exploit the advantage of a bus (they can stop anywhere, not just at stations) instead of forcing people to travel past their destination and walk back from the station substitute stop.
What would be good is if the audio graffiti on the trains was reprogrammed so it didn't blabber on about changing here for trains to Tonsley at times when there are no trains to Tonsley. What would be really good is if trains were provided to/from Tonsley on weekends and at least until 10pm every night so these periods are minimised, and so 894 carloads of people could park at Tonsley Park (and another 12 or so at Tonsley station) for an event in the city.
Thinking a touch outside the box, thought should be given to providing a road-rail equipped 24-seater bus for the Tonsley shuttle (stopping at a hardstand next to Ascot Park station) outside of normal operating hours, which would be significantly faster than the bustitute weaving around Bradley Grove. If it can be done with light-medium trucks, it can be done with the buses based on the same chassis. If there is a rule in the way, it can be rescinded or a derogation issued by the same authority which created it!
* interestingly, this browser's best correct spelling suggestion for 'bustitute' happens to be 'destitute'