No ticket to ride if county council pulls plug

The ticket office could close if plans are given the go-ahead
The ticket office could close if plans are given the go-ahead
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A public consultation is set to begin over controversial plans which could see the closure of Clitheroe Interchange ticket office.

County hall chiefs have slashed their budget and it was announced that information centres in Clitheroe, Nelson, Preston and Carnforth could face the axe.

If the proposal is accepted, rail and bus users in Clitheroe will not be able to buy tickets from the booking hall and ticket office.

Now, the Ribble Valley community is being rallied in a bid to stop the vital, local facility from closing.

County Coun. Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “The council is committed to providing the best services it can to the people of Lancashire, particular to the most vulnerable in our communities.

“However, the council’s financial position remains extremely challenging, with a forecasted funding gap of £144.084 in 2021/22.

“This has meant that tough decisions have had to be made to balance the books.”

The news has angered Ribble Valley politicians who are urging county officials to change their minds.

Coun. Ken Hind, leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council, said: “We have been led to understand that the county council own the building but, RVBC contribute to staffing and interchange upkeep and cleaning costs.

“This, at a time when rail passenger users are growing, infrastructure is being improved and shortly new rolling stock is to be introduced.

“The closure will be perceived very much as service reduction by the users of trains and rural bus services.

“As a local authority, the borough council is concentrating on developing the A59 corridor and improving our rail links to Blackburn, Bolton and Manchester Victoria, as well as urging the reopening to passenger traffic of the link to Hellifield, which will connect Clitheroe, to Lancaster, (west coast main line ), Leeds and Bradford, This will help drive our tourist trade, bringing visitors from Yorkshire, help improve employment links for residents going to Manchester and travel for our sixth formers and students going to local colleges.”

“Our policy is to drive the local economy to create more jobs and become a more sustainable community. This is a proposal which works against what we are trying to achieve.”

The consultation begins on Monday and ends on Monday, April 23rd.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “Train operating companies and bus operators work hard to provide information and make travel ticket purchasing easier by providing ticket machines at stations and improving online information and ticket purchase options.

“We’re holding an eight-week consultation to help us better understand the effect on users of closing these centres and would ask people to tell us their views.”

Coun. Hind added: “I urge all rail and bus users utilising the Clitheroe interchange to take part in the consultation to press the county council to change its mind.”

You can have your say by logging onto or pick up questionnaires from the interchange.