Meldreth ticket office turnaround

PUBLISHED: 09:38 05 March 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 May 2010

PEOPLE power has led to a train operator reversing a decision to close a station ticket office on Saturdays. The ticket office at Meldreth station was due to be closed every weekend as part of a review of opening hours by train operator First Capital Conn

PEOPLE power has led to a train operator reversing a decision to close a station ticket office on Saturdays.

The ticket office at Meldreth station was due to be closed every weekend as part of a review of opening hours by train operator First Capital Connect.

However, following a prolonged campaign from residents, it will now be open from 8.45pm-1.15pm on Saturdays, and 7.15am-11.15am on weekday mornings.

Elaine Holt, managing director of First Capital Connect, attended a public meeting in Meldreth on Tuesday, and said the response to the plans, which included a petition with 1,065 signatures, was the largest the company had ever had to such proposals.

Susan van de Ven, the district councillor for the area, organised the meeting.

She said: "This is a really good victory.

"We could have sat by and let this happen, but the people of this area have come together and put a lot of time and effort into getting this decision changed."

However, Cllr van de Ven was disappointed with the response from First Capital Connect on another thorny issue - that of car parking charges at the station.

She said: "They didn't really explain their reasoning on imposing charges.

"I have asked them to show me the business reasons for this, as the car park is now only 25 per cent used on average, whereas it used to always be full up."

Over 100 people packed the Elin Community rooms in Meldreth for the meeting, which was attended by Ms Holt, and David Burns, First Capital Connect's car parking supremo.

They admitted that the recent decisions made by the company had been poorly communicated.

Cllr van de Ven added: "People from many different villages turned out, not just Meldreth, and that shows the strength of feeling about the station.

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