STATION: Staff cuts hit services

I note that Berwick Town Council is calling for the protection of rail services from Berwick (Berwick Advertiser, July 5), and rightly so.

Thursday, 19th July 2018, 6:42 am

However, I wish it had been more involved in the reduction of personnel in the ticket office in Berwick Station.

Since there is now only one window and ticket machine available, large queues gather for assistance, which now extend into the station foyer (something they never did before).

This was made worse when a member of staff was on holiday, which resulted in the office having to close at periods.

A member of staff acts as a ‘floor walker’, but one recognises his frustration in being unable to help the public and get them tickets since the additional ticket machine has been taken away.

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I have witnessed a member of the public take 20 minutes in being helped on a ticket query, while the queues lengthen and visitors give up in disgust as their train arrives.

With so many types of tickets now on offer, the public gets confused and seeks help, especially if they try to book online.

There are times when there is no member of the public at the ticket window, but that is unusual – perhaps those were the times the rail managers visited Berwick Station?

The ticket machines in the foyer are fine if one wants just a simple journey, but not if in anyway it is in the future and requires various changes.

Berwick Station serves a large catchment area in the Scottish Borders and north Northumberland, as well as users of the campsites in the town, and should have more staff to help the public.

Could not these changes have been given a trial run to see if they worked before planning them?

I fear people will give up using the trains at Berwick Station if this situation continues (as it is planned), and so interfere with the efforts of those councillors keen on improving the service to Edinburgh.

Robert Steward