HUNDREDS of additional car parking spaces could be built at rail stations around Scotland in a bid to persuade more people to take the train.

ScotRail said it was in talks with councils and business organisations to explore joint funding of additional Park and Ride sites, with development at some expected to get under way before its franchise expires in 2015.

One option being explored by the operator, which runs more than 95% of passenger services in Scotland, is to build multi-storey parking blocks that can be installed on existing sites or new surfaces without the need for expensive foundations to be dug out.

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The extra capacity is expected to boost travel at off-peak periods, particularly at rail stations outside Scotland's cities. Sean Duffy, ScotRail's commercial director, said: "We are delivering more car parking spaces to support the growing demand for rail travel."