Doncaster MP concerned for Thorne North station ticket office

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DONCASTER MP Caroline Flint has written to Transport Secretary Justine Greening over concerns for the future of one of Doncaster’s railway ticket offices.

Ms Flint is concerned for the future of the office at Thorne North station after leaked emails suggested it could be one of 675 stations in the UK to lose the facility.

Ms Flint, whose Don Valley constituency includes Thorne, is a among a number of politicians concerned at the emails.

She 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 she has already given the green light to these ticket office closures.

“I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport to demand a full disclosure on any decision made that will affect Thorne North Station.”

Thorne Coun Rachel Hodson said Thorne North station was used regularly by residents to commute to Doncaster, Goole and further afield, and said losing the ticket office would be a blow.

Secretary of State for Transport Ms Greening has previously denied the Government has already made the decision to close ticket offices. But the leaked email, dated two weeks ago from the civil servant responsible for the Rail Fares and Ticketing Review, says, ‘The Minister has already decided to approve some ticket office closures, it’s just not been announced yet... there will be more of those in future’.

The concerns surround what are known as ‘Category E’ stations - which include Thorne North.

Transport Minister Norman Baker denied any closure decisions had been made. He said the concerns had arisen after London Midland had made a proposal under a process, under which the department is required to arbitrate under industry rules.

He said: “The official mentioned in the email is a relatively junior official unconnected with the arbitration process. It is a simple error on the part of that particular official - no decision has been taken by any Minister on London Midland’s proposals.

“The officials in question have been given advice in regard to the need to not second-guess a Minister’s thoughts and the appropriate language to use in Government emails.”