Monday, 6 July 2009

David Williams condemns plans to close the Travel Centre at Crewe Station

"We do not want to see any downgrading of Crewe Station”, said David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Crewe and Nantwich.

David Williams continued, “I am shocked to hear that Virgin is considering the closure of their Travel Centres at Crewe, Stafford, Birmingham International and Coventry stations; alongside a reduction of 21 booking office machines across the network.

“Just when I thought that we were making progress with Crewe Station, after the dithering and delay caused by the nonsensical suggested move to Basford, this news is yet another setback.

“I was delighted to hear the Minister commit to the Crewe Gateway Scheme last week, after Labour’s campaigning. This week we are due to see the long-overdue opening of a first class lounge at Crewe. But the removal of the travel centre amounts to nothing less than a downgrading of our station.

“Our travel centre is an important service to passengers. It gives people the opportunity to discuss their travel plans and gain advice without holding up queues at the booking office.

“I am also concerned for the many people in Crewe and Nantwich who hold a free travel pass, including retired railway workers. They tell me that the travel centre is a very convenient way to access services like seat reservations, which are not available to them on the web.

“I am stunned that after Virgin’s attempts to push people into pre-booking travel, they are now removing a facility that helps passengers pre-book. Rail travel should be as easy and as passenger friendly as possible. I know the staff at Crewe Travel Centre offer great advice, helping people get the most out of our train services

“I am now seeking the support of my Parliamentary colleagues whose constituencies are also affected by these proposals and I am writing to Virgin to express my opposition to the closure of the Crewe Travel Centre.”

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