Rail ticket office is set to be axed

Thorne train station.
Thorne train station.

A DONCASTER town’s major railway station is set to lose its ticket office, according to a leaked government email.

Thorne North station was highlighted as one of the smaller sites at risk in email conversations between civil servants working at the Department of Transport.

The fears came to light in Parliament during a debate between Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle and Railways Minister Theresa Villiers.

The office, one of 675 under threat nationally, would be replaced by automated ticketing machines, which could be used to pre-book tickets online, or used on the platform.

Politicians have now stepped in to try and save the ticket office, with Don Valley MP Caroline Flint having already written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening MP over the rumoured closure. She is demanding a consultation period takes place before any final decisions are made.

Ms Flint said: “I am appalled that the Government is making secret decisions about our station without consulting local service users.

“The Minister should now own up and admit that she has already given the green light to these ticket office closures.”

Rail Union the RMT fear the closure of ticketing offices and cutting opening hours at stations could result in as many as 12,000 job losses nationwide as well as causing people to miss their trains due to faulty machines.

Previously the Government had denied going ahead with these plans, but the leaked documents suggest the decision on which station offices to close has already been made by ministers.

Thorne Ward councillor Rachel Hodson added: “This is just one of many cuts which is going to hit Thorne hard.

“Thorne North station is used regularly by residents to commute to Doncaster, Goole and further afield - the loss of the ticket office would be a blow to the local area.”

Eddie Dobbs, a fellow Thorne town councillor said: “A staffed ticket office ensures a better service for everyone and creates jobs in the local economy. I hope the Government will think again about this decision.”

Network Rail which has responsibility for stations and the Department for Transport were both unavailable for comment.