Ticket office may face the axe

Framework Development. Hebden Bridge Station.
Framework Development. Hebden Bridge Station.
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The ticket office at Hebden Bridge train station is at risk of being closed, a report has revealed.

A “hit-list” of 675 small stations across the country whose ticket offices could be shut to save money.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association found the list buried in the small print of the government-commissioned McNulty report, about how to save money in the railway industry.

The leader of the group, Gerry Doherty has called for the cutbacks, which will see ticket offices replaced with machines.

Mr Doherty called for the cutbacks to be rejected.

It would leave passengers more vulnerable and inconvenience passengers who will not be able to speak to an advisor face-to-face.

Around 1,000 jobs would be lost around the country if the recommendations were taken on board.

The government will respond fully to the findings of the report next month.

Town Clerk of Hebden Royd Council, Jason Boom said: “There’s a lot of investment that’s gone into the station including the waiting rooms and toilets, so it seems a little strange they’re looking at this.

“Passengers arrive early in the morning and the commuters appreciate seeing the same staff there every day. It seems a little off.”

Although it was early days he said he was sure there would be vigourous campaigning to keep the office open if plans progress.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association are now launching a “Save our station ticket offices” campaign. They will urge MPs to save ticket offices in their constituencies.

A spokesperson from Northern Rail, who manage the station, reassured passengers: “The McNulty report is a wide-ranging and significant study into rail industry costs and we along with other partners are giving it the serious and detailed consideration it rightly deserves.

“We have no immediate plans to close any ticket offices, however we recognise that passengers have differing preferences for how they buy their tickets. We will continue to enhance our retail options for customers, acknowledging that it is not ‘one size fits all’.”