Beeston: Train ticket office closure plans ‘an attack on public service’ says councillor

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“People are fed up with services being cut in every walk of life.”

A Nottinghamshire councillor said plans to close the ticket office at Beeston Railway Station is an “attack on public service”.

Train operating companies put forward plans to close hundreds of offices across the country but they have been strongly opposed by some campaign groups.

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East Midlands Railway (EMR) said on average less than five per cent of tickets are sold through ticket offices at its stations.

Beeston Railway Station is the only ticketed office in Broxtowe.Beeston Railway Station is the only ticketed office in Broxtowe.
Beeston Railway Station is the only ticketed office in Broxtowe.

Beeston station, which is run by EMR, is the only ticketed office in Broxtowe.

Last month, a national consultation on the plans was extended until September 1, after around 170,000 responses were received in the first 21 days.

EMR confirmed all existing facilities at its stations will remain open.

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Cllr Greg Marshall, deputy leader of Broxtowe Borough Council (Lab), said the move “will have an impact on people, the vulnerable and people with disabilities”.

“The proposals exclude swathes of society in an attempt to squeeze profits.

“There are safety issues for women travelling late at night or in the morning.

“The staff offer security to people, they are helpful, they give you the best options and advice on tickets.”

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He added: “Beeston train station had more than 500,000 users a year pre Covid and there’s still 400,000 post-Covid.

“People are fed up with services being cut in every walk of life.”

‘Difficult step’

Trish Roberts-Thomson, the chair of Friends of Beeston Station, said she had “mixed views” about the plans.

The group is made up of volunteers who campaign for improvements to the station.

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Ms Roberts-Thomson said: “The reality is that not enough people buy tickets at the office.

“The other point of view it is a bit of a blow to the sense of security and safety at the station.

“Given all the work we’ve done to upgrade the station, we think it would be a difficult step to support until we know more.

“In the back of our minds, we knew the ticket office is not supported sufficiently to maintain it long term.”

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An EMR Spokesperson said the proposed changes aim “to bring railway staff closer to customers, better match demand with resources and ensure long term sustainability for the future”.

They said: “The proposals would help bring station retailing up-to-date from the mid 90s, when the rules on how to sell tickets were set and before the invention of the smartphone.

“Back then, over 80 per cent of all tickets were sold at ticket offices, compared to just 12 per cent nationally and less than 5 per cent at EMR stations on average today.”