Clitheroe interchange travel information centre to close

The ticket office will close in February next year
The ticket office will close in February next year

Clitheroe Interchange ticket office is facing the axe, it has been revealed.

Much to the dismay of local rail and bus users, the information centre will close it's doors in February next year. Passengers wishing to travel will have to purchase tickets from the vending machine on the platform, online or from other ticket providers.

The move is being blamed on Lancashire County Council's funding cuts.

As reported in the Clitheroe Advertiser last year, the authority proposed to shut travel information centres at the Clitheroe and Nelson transport interchanges and their equivalents on Preston Bus Station and Carnforth Railway Station, to save £156,000 a year as it tried to avoid a forecast financial deficit. A few months later, the county council’s cabinet approved an officers’ recommendation to suspend the closures while they explored approaches from third parties interested in taking them over. Clitheroe interchange was saved from the axe after the Community Rail Partnership successfully applied to take it over. However, the transport information centre at Nelson interchange didn't have the same fate and it was forced to close after two bids to take it over were rejected.

Now, members of the Community Rail Partnership say it is "impractical to continue" running the Clitheroe service.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "In February 2018 Lancashire County Council agreed to make savings to help balance its budget by closing a number of travel information centres and ticket offices.

"Following a consultation process the council began working with Community Rail Lancashire to explore whether a sustainable solution could be found to keep the ticket office at Clitheroe Interchange open in the long term.

"In the meantime, the council has continued to operate the ticket office, and is grateful to the Community Rail Partnership for their interest and determined efforts to try to find a way to keep the ticket office running. However, the Community Rail Partnership have now determined it is impractical to continue and have withdrawn their interest.

"The council will now go ahead with the closure of the ticket office, with the last day of ticket sales to the public expected to be on February 5th, 2020.

"Rail services from Clitheroe will continue unaffected, and passengers wishing to travel can purchase tickets from the vending machine on the platform, online or from other ticket providers.

Coun. Ian Brown, Conservative councillor for Lancashire County Council, said: "We are currently holding meetings to see if we can find a solution to keep the Clitheroe ticket office open. The proposed closure is unfortunately a sign of the times."