ALLOTMENTS have been ripped up and a swathe of land in Taunton levelled to serve as a temporary car park.

The site at Obridge Yard will be used by rail travellers during the year-long construction period of a multi-storey car park on the south side of Taunton Station.

The current station parking facility will be out of commission once work starts on the new block.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "Temporary car parking facilities have been made available for passengers using Taunton Station as work to transform the current car park into a multi-storey facility takes place.

"During the construction phase, parking spaces can be found at Obridge Yard to the north of the station, accessed from Station Road.

"The upgrade is taking place as part of the planned improvements to the station that we are working on in partnership with Great Western Railway and the local authority (Taunton Deane Borough Council).

"The upgrades also include a transport interchange for ease of access between buses, taxis, and trains, as well as a new station entrance and ticket office.

"Passengers will benefit from an improved customer experience when the upgraded facilities come into use during the spring of 2020."

The multi-million pound improvements to the station, aimed to cater for a predicted 44 per cent increase in passenger numbers by the end of the decade, will also see the main entrance relocated from the north to the south side of the station.

Network Rail intends to sell off eight acres of land running from alongside and including a section of Kilkenny Car Park through Obridge Yard, with the potential to develop it for offices, homes and work space, subject to planning permission being obtained.

The part of the car park Network Rail owns is currently leased to Taunton Deane Borough Council, which owns the rest of the facility.

The site failed to attract a buyer when it previously went up for auction.