Rail campaigner's anger over yet another weekend closure of Corby station

The station building will be shut again this weekend

Friday, 13th March 2020, 11:40 am
Updated Friday, 13th March 2020, 11:44 am
Rail campaigner David Fursdon

A Corby rail campaigner says a train company should be 'ashamed' over another closure of the town's hard-won station building.

Local people spent years lobbying for the return of a railway station to the town - a battle that they won a decade ago.

But now one campaigner, David Fursdon, says that the station is now a 'poor relation' to other towns because of inadequate staffing that has left the ticket office, toilets and cafe closed on many weekends over the past few years.

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There are not enough staff to man the building this weekend so it will be closed on tomorrow (Saturday, March 14) and Sunday.

Mr Fursdon said: ""There is only one permanent staff member at Corby - a decrease from five.

"Corby is the poor relation to Kettering, Wellingborough and Market Harborough stations. Passengers have no access to staff for advice, no toilet and no cafe facilities.

"EMR are taking Corby Rail passengers for a ride.

"They say they are training two more staff members but they wont be signed off for six to eight weeks so we can expect flash closures for the long-suffering passengers until then.

"EMR say the train waits at the station for 40 minutes before leaving so passengers can use the toilets on board and the trolley refreshment service but as I am aware the train crews are not briefed on all of this.The owner of Loco Cafe at Corby station cant open but will still have to pay his rent.

"This is a disaster and downgrade for Corby rail users. Why is Corby beinging singled out?

"EMR should be ashamed of their poor customer care at Corby and contempt for its passengers.

"I said previously some passengers were deserting Corby station - now more will do so.

"This confirms, in my opinion, a stealth tactic to drive business away to make the case the station is no longer feasible and close it down.

"EMR have said this is not the case but they are doing it by stealth. It happend before when Corby station closed in 1990. Then, clapped out unreliable trains drove passengers off the service giving them the go ahead to terminate the rail service then operated jointly by Network South East and Corby District Council.

"Now the new rail service is in real peril."

An EMR spokeswoman said that it was not the case that the company wanted to close down the station and that an extra train every hour is planned for December. She said staff sickness and promotion had led to the temporary difficulty in manning the station, but that more members of staff had been recruited and were currently going through training.

She added: "I can see that it is frustrating for local people.

"But there are no plans to shut the station at all.

"Customers can use the toilets and refreshment facilities on the trains and they can still collect tickets from the machine on the platform if the office is closed."