Corby railway station booking office apology

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Rail users at Corby railway station say that they are frustrated that the booking office building is regularly closing early.

The cafe, ticket office and ticket vending machine are all located inside the building.

But regular passengers say that the office has been closing early for some months - leaving passengers unable to access the ticket machine and forcing the cafe to close early.

Rail campaigner David Fursdon said: “Originally five members of staff were employed at Corby station ticket office.

“Now it is only three.

“Due to sickness or holidays the ticket office can be closed within minutes as there are not enough rostered staff. Other local stations do not have this issue.

“Passengers are quite rightly frustrated when there is no staff cover as they cannot access the ticket office, toilet, ticket vending machine and Loco Coco Cafe - a privately run business that is forced to close affecting the profits

“Passenger growth has been good since Corby Station reopened in 2009 but some rail users are deserting Corby and using either Kettering, Wellingborough and Market Harborough stations where they can get a better customer experience.”

The ticket office is compelled to open between the hours of 6.30am and 1pm on weekdays, from 9am to 3pm on Saturdays and from 8am to 3pm on Sundays.

Mr Fursdon, who was part of the successful campaign to reopen Corby railway station ten years ago, contaced MP for Corby Tom Pursglove who in turn raised the matter with railways minster Jo Johnson. In a letter, Mr Johnson said: “I understand Mr Fursdon’s concerns about the opening hours of Corby station ticket office and being unable to access the ticket vending machine and toilets when the ticket office is closed.

“We take regular and/ongoing reductions in ticket office hours seriously and have raised your constituent’s concerns with East Midlands Trains. I wish to reassure you that the Department does not believe that there is a case for Corby Station now or in the future to become unmanned.”

A spokesman for East Midlands Trains, which runs the booking office, said: “We have staff available at the ticket office Monday to Friday from 06.30 until 13.00, Saturdays from 09.00-15.00 and Sundays from 08.00-15.00.

“Outside of those times, customers can use the ticket vending machines to buy their tickets or to collect pre-booked tickets. There have been a small number of occasions, when due to family bereavement and staff sickness, the ticket office has not been open at the advertised times.

“We are sorry if this has caused any inconvenience to our customers, we have taken steps to prevent this happening again with extra trained staff at nearby stations to provide cover

at Corby if and when needed.”