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Opening hours cut at stations
RAIL commuters will be buying more tickets from machines after a cut in staffing hours got the government green light.
Passengers using Worcester Shrub Hill station will see between an hour and two hours trimmed from ticket booths’ opening hours in the morning, and up to 10 hours cut from afternoons over the course of the week.
Passengers will instead rely on automatic ticket machines at the stations.
London Midland, which runs Shrub Hill, got permission this week from the Department for Transport for the changes.
At that station, ticket office openings are to be cut by about 47 hours overall across the week.
There will be no changes at Worcester Foregate Street station, which is run by the same rail operator.
Meanwhile, Robin Walker , city MP, said he had no issues with the cutting of opening hours but was “seeking assurances” people with mobility problems and particularly those who use wheelchairs, would be able to get a member of staff to help negotiate the Victorian station, particularly access to platform 2.
But London Midland confirmed “assisted travel will be maintained” at its stations, with “senior conductors providing assistance to customers where no station staff are available at the start or end of a journey.”
It said Shrub Hill would be “step-free” by 2013.
Changes were also granted for opening times at Droitwich, Great Malvern and Malvern Link stations.
Harriett Baldwin , West Worcestershire MP, said her lobbying of government had “reduced” the cuts being brought in, particularly at Malvern Link.
She said people “still appreciated the opportunity” to buy a ticket from an informed member of staff, rather than a machine, or on the internet.
Mondays to Thursdays: Current 5.10am-9pm opening times will change to 6am-11am.
Fridays: the times will change to 6am until 7pm.
Saturdays: New opening times 7am-11am.
Sundays: Current 7.10am-9.30pm changes to 9am-2pm.
Current times of 6.25am-6.35pm weekdays and 7.05am-2.20pm Saturdays (the booth is shut Sundays) will change to 6.30am-1pm Mondays to Thursdays, 6.30am-6pm Fridays, and 8am-2pm on Saturdays.
A 6am opening marks a change to a slightly earlier time, but the booths will shut an hour earlier, at 5pm.
Minor changes, with the ticket office staffed 7am-6pm Mondays to Thursdays, 7am-7pm Fridays and 8am-3pm on Saturdays. The booth remains closed on Sundays.