Action stations! Bid to keep ticket office

Framework Development. Hebden Bridge Station.
Framework Development. Hebden Bridge Station.
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PRESSURE is growing on rail bosses to retain the booking office at Hebden Bridge Station.

Town and district councillors, and station users say it is vital cope with the increasing number of passengers.

The Mayor of Calderdale, Nader Fekri, and the leader of Calderdale Council, Janet Battye, have asked Transport Secretary Phil Hammond to upgrade the station.

This week the McNulty Report into the future of rail transport proposed that all 675 Category ‘E’ stations, including Hebden Bridge should be automated.

Most cater for fewer than 250,000 passengers a year but Hebden Bridge had 627,000 last year and numbers are growing by 12 per cent.

“Removing staff will cause immense inconvenience to passengers who will lose the opportunity to seek advice about planning rail travel and the ability to get advice about tickets including cheaper options.

“They will lose the option to pay by cash if ticket machines only accept debit or credit cards and lose the help available in the event of an accident or assault,” said Coun Fekri.

Councillor Battye (Lib-Dem, Calder) said: “Hebden Bridge is vital to our tourism and green strategies which encourage tourists to visit our beautiful Pennine Town by the greenest mode of travel possible.

“We want you to re-consider the McNulty proposal and to re-classify Hebden Bridge as a Category ‘D’ station or above,” she said.

Hebden Royd Town Council was to keep the station staffed and the Friends of Hebden Bridge Station have described the idea as mad.

Chairwoman Nina Smith said: “I am almost certain this is scare mongering.”