Anger as opening hours are cut for travel centre at Berwick Railway Station

A drastic reduction in opening times at Berwick Railway Station’s travel centre will be ‘hard-hitting’ on the public and staff, it has been claimed.

By Andrew Coulson
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 5:05 pm
Berwick Railway Station.
Berwick Railway Station.

A consultation by LNER took place last autumn as part of a review into its travel centres across the country. The train operating company stated on its website at the time that the proposed changes at Berwick and other stations ‘reflect the reduced level of customer demand during these times’.

The new timings have now come into effect at the station. They are 7am to 2pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm on Saturdays and 9.15am to 3pm on Sundays.

The hours at the Berwick centre before they were changed were 5.45am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, 6.45am to 3.15pm on Saturdays and 9.45am to 4.20pm on Sundays.

Coun Catherine Seymour, county councillor for Berwick North, said: “I am very disappointed and was against the reduced hours proposal that will affect many residents and senior passengers who rely on the good service and advice that the staff at the station provide.

“This reduction is going to hit the public and staff at the travel centre hard, when full-time customer service should be of the utmost importance, as statistics from the Office of Rail and Road in 2019/20 showed that Berwick-upon-Tweed was the busiest station in Northumberland.”

Coun Georgina Hill, county councillor for Berwick East, said: “It is really disappointing that LNER have pressed ahead with this significant reduction in opening times despite opposition from staff and passengers.

“The so-called consultation seems to have been a token exercise and not a meaningful one.

“LNER have said that the changes are permanent – they are not even prepared to monitor their impact and potentially revisit them. This provides further evidence that they are not listening to customers.”

This issue and others can be discussed with Coun Hill at her next surgery for residents this Saturday (May 21) between 2pm and 4pm at St John’s Church, Main Street, Spittal.

A LNER spokesman said: “We have revised the opening hours at travel centres operated by LNER, following a review of customer buying behaviour that we undertook to ensure our operating hours are efficient and in line with customer demand.

“The changes, following extensive consultation, include a reduction in hours, as well as opening earlier in other travel centres, to ensure greater alignment with the needs of our customers.

Customers are able to purchase tickets in a number of ways – including at ticket machines, our website, our app and via phone by calling our Customer Contact Centre on 0345 722 5333.”