Ticket office moving as part of railway station revamp plan
A revamp is being planned at Berwick railway station by Virgin Trains East Coast.
It has secured listed building consent to make concourse alterations at the Grade II listed building.
The proposed scheme involves re-locating the current ticket office to the site of the present Café Express shop.
The existing ticket office and substantial back-of-house accommodation will be converted to a shop/café. The proposed retailer is not identified in the application.
A report by Virgin Trains states: ‘The present travel centre has two ticket desk positions. It is intended that this will be reduced to one desk within the proposed ticket office.
‘This reduction reflects the migration of ticket sales to self-ticketing and online ticket sales with only 15 per cent of ticket transactions nationally being over the counter.
‘Over the next five years this is expected to reduce further with simplified ticketing and the ever-increasing online sales. As a consequence, the present large ticket office is deemed surplus to requirements with Virgin Trains seeking to provide a more customer -riendly facility with an unglazed ticket desk within the new travel centre.
‘This proposal returns the ticket office to its original location and will be more prominent to passengers arriving at the station than the present facility. There are no plans to reduce the hours that the ticket office is in operation.’
No objections to the plan were received.
Berwick railway station has a relatively steady annual footfall of approximately 530,000 passengers per year in 2015/16 with a clear summer bias on those numbers.
The original station building at Berwick was opened in 1847 and resulted in the demolition of the Great Hall of Berwick Castle.
Parts of the original wall can still be seen when arriving at the station over the iconic Royal Border Bridge.
The present station building was constructed by the London and North Eastern Railway in 1924.
Senior planning officer Tony Lowe said: ‘The proposal has been fully examined by the Building Conservation Officer and, following the submission of further information including amended plans, no objection has been raised, subject to conditions.’