County Councillor Lizzi Collinge, who also Labour
County Councillor Lizzi Collinge, who also Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale at Carnforth Station

City and County Councillors have joined forces to urge Lancashire County Council to keep Carnforth Travel Information Centre open while a new operator can be found.

Lancashire County Cllr Lizzi Collinge and City Cllr John Reynolds have written to Lancashire Cabinet members urging them to accept a report which would postpone the closure of the travel centre and allow county officers to look at offers to take on the service from third parties. Cllr Collinge had previously proposed a postponement back in February when the council voted to close the centre and three others like it in Lancashire.

Cllr Collinge said “I am glad that the Council have seen sense and are at least looking at ways to keep this vital service in Carnforth. Back in February I proposed to Full Council that we make an adjustment to the budget to do just this. Unfortunately it was voted down by Conservative councillors. The results of the consultation confirms what I’ve been saying all along – the local community really value the service and that any closure would disproportionately affect older people and people with disabilities. It would also impact public transport use, with 65% of people in the consultation saying they would use public transport less if the centres close. Myself and Cllr Reynolds have now written to the Cabinet urging them to accept a common sense solution which may secure the future of the service.”
City Councillor John Reynolds campaigning at Carnforth Railway Station
City Councillor John Reynolds campaigning at Carnforth Railway Station

Cllr Reynolds says he has received large volumes of correspondence on this and raised concerns that the consultation took place while the station was closed for refurbishment saying “Carnforth Ticket and Rail Information Centre is crucial to people in Carnforth and the surrounding areas. Earlier this year, I helped organise two meetings with fellow councillors to gauge public opinion on the county proposals to close the centre. The view of those present was clear, the county should properly fund the service and keep it open. Following that, I know that the council and County Councillor Williamson have received hundreds of representations to that effect. Despite this, they conducted the consultation between March and April, when the station was closed.

“Over this period I have been sent many emails and messages from extremely concerned residents, tired of cuts to services from county and demanding that the ticket office be saved. I see this centre as many others do as a red line, to let it close would be damaging to people who use it, and the wider economy, particularly tourism.”

The County Cabinet will vote on the proposals on Thursday 9th August.

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