Ticket offices facing closure in Flintshire

Reporter:

Matt Jones

TICKET offices at two busy Flintshire stations have been put on a closure list.

Shotton and Flint are on a list of 675 UK stations which could lose their ticket offices resulting in a 1,000 job losses, a transport union has revealed.

The Transport Salaried Staff Association (TSSA) drew attention to the list which was drawn up as part of a review commissioned by the UK Government.

But Arriva Trains Wales and the Welsh Government said they have no plans to close any ticket offices or significantly change any ticket office hours at any stations.

Flint councillor Ian Roberts said he had “considerable concerns” about the possible closure of the ticket office at Flint.

He said: “I believe since the improvements which have been done at the station, travelling numbers have more than doubled in recent years.

“There is the security problem, a staffed station has a different level of security than a unstaffed station. It is disappointing as someone who has been campaigning for years to improve public transport. It is something that is going to have to be carefully monitored.

“These proposals are coming from national government. Flint seems to be on the national government hitlist with the closure of the courthouse and the downgrading of the police station.”

Currently the ticket office is staffed between 6am and 9pm

Delyn Labour AM Sandy Mewies said: “Flint is a busy, well used railway station and the staff there provide an excellent service. Any plan to close the ticket office would be a blow for both rail passengers and for the town.”

The report could pave the way for one in four stations in England and Wales to lose their ticket offices if transport secretary Philip Hammond green lights the report this autumn.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “The McNulty report was commissioned by the Department for Transport and we await with interest the UK Government's response to it's recommendations.

“One of the Welsh Government’s main aims is to improve access to our rail network, and we have no plans to close ticket offices in Wales.”

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: “We are currently considering the findings of Sir Roy McNulty’s independent report and any of his proposed changes to rail fares or ticketing will be examined as part of a Government review.”

Concerns were expressed by Cllr Roberts at a meeting of Flint Town Council over the condition of a wall at Flint Railway Station car park.

The council is to write to Colin Everett, chief executive of Flintshire Council, and Delyn MP David Hanson, in the hope the issue will be looked at.

See full story in the Leader

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