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Anger growing at station plans

PLANS to cut opening hours at 87 railway stations - including six in the borough - have been branded “barbaric” by transport unions.

PLANS to cut opening hours at 87 railway stations - including six in the borough - have been branded “barbaric” by transport unions.

London Midland, the region’s biggest rail firm, announced the money-saving scheme last week.

Among those stations affected are Acocks Green, Berkswell, Hall Green, Hampton-in-Arden, Marston Green, Olton, Shirley and Widney Manor.

Many ticket booths that stay open until around midnight will close in the early-afternoon under proposals.

A London Midland employee, who didn’t want to be named, urged passengers to have their say.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty, over 100 jobs will go, but we don’t know if there’s going to be any compulsory redundancies,” they said.

“People are used to having someone in the ticket office, it reduces crime and vandalism at the stations.

“But if they’re empty half the time, there’s going to be no-one to chase off troublemakers or help if there’s an accident.”

Passengers will have to use ticket-machines when the ticket offices are empty on afternoons and evenings.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union, accused the rail firm of jumping on the cuts “bandwagon”.

“The unions are not only concerned about the impact on jobs but also the dire consequences for services and security.”

Centro has also voiced concerns, writing to Transport Minister Theresa Villiers about the changes.

London Midland said that fewer tickets were being bought at offices and it made sense to reduce opening hours.

Alex Hynes, commercial director, said the firm would ensure services continued to meet needs of passengers.

* Have your say on the proposals by emailing advice@passengerfocus.org.uk

 

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