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Norwich: Crime fears over rail station ticket office changes

The public is currently being asked to share views on proposals that would see Norwich station’s ticket office become a ‘Customer Information Centre’.

Greater Anglia has said the centres, which would “provide help with complex transactions”, would see changes made to opening hours – but no alterations would be made to staff availability.

Norwich Evening News: The plans have proven controversialThe plans have proven controversial (Image: Newsquest)

However, the company has refused to confirm if the shake-up would result in any job losses.

But now, in documents from major rail firms uncovered by the Daily Mirror, Greater Anglia admitted such changes could put passengers at greater risk of crime.

An equality and diversity impact assessment compiled by the firm states: “Ticket office reforms will cause anxiety for those customers who are more reliant on human interaction to travel – in general but also at specific times, for example during periods of disruption.

“Crime, anti-social behaviour and fear of crime (including hate crime) may increase as ticket offices are closed and static colleague presence reduced.”

READ MORE: MP hits out at Norwich train station changes ahead of consultation closure

Nearby stations such as Diss and Great Yarmouth will see staff move out of their offices and help passengers on platforms, selling tickets from mobile machines.

Train company representative, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), revealed the plans after transport secretary Mark Harper wrote to train operators asking them to cut costs.

Passenger numbers nationwide currently stand at their lowest since 2002 and revenue lies 30pc below pre-Covid levels.

Speaking on the leaked report, a spokesman for Greater Anglia said: “The station proposals are aimed at providing a more modern and flexible service for our customers.

Norwich Evening News: Transport secretary Mark HarperTransport secretary Mark Harper (Image: PA)

“They reflect the more convenient ways in which passengers are looking to buy their tickets and check travel information.

“Station colleagues would undertake a new, more flexible role – bringing staff closer to customers.

“Passenger assistance arrangements would continue as they do now, from first to last trains, but with additional mobile teams to give greater flexibility in providing assistance across the network.”

The public has until September 1 to comment on the plans.

Read the full article here

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