Rail station ticket offices earmarked for closure

TWO rail station ticket offices in Crow country are on a hit list for possible closure.

Meldreth and Ashwell and Morden are two of 675 stations across the country which are earmarked for the permanent closure of their ticket offices in a Government report prepared by Sir Roy McNulty.

Susan Van de Ven, Cambridgeshire County Council member and chairman of the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group, has expressed concern about the proposed move.

“You can’t replace a human being,” she said.

“Meldreth station is famous for its human presence and people go there not just to buy tickets, but for advice, which they can’t get from a ticket machine.

“What holds communities together is people, so I think it would be a very foolish move.

“Meldreth should be a station developed rather than shrunk.

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“I’m sure they need to save money, but they need to be smart about things that are valuable to people.”

Gerry Doherty, leader of the union Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, called the proposal “a double whammy”, after passengers were told last month that fares will rise by 25 per cent over the next three years.

“Not only are unstaffed stations less secure, tickets bought from machines are usually more expensive,” he added.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said the findings of Sir McNulty’s report will be examined as part of a Government review.

A detailed response is expected next month, when parliament resumes after the summer break.