Railway station manning under review

Opening hours and jobs at the region's railway stations are under review, it emerged last night .

Opening hours and jobs at the region's railway stations are under review, it emerged last night.

But rail operator One - which operates services from Norwich to London and branch lines across the region - said that no decisions had been made yet and that any changes would be based on how much station ticket offices are used.

Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs, told the EDP: "We are reviewing station staffing and times at the moment, but there is not a clear outcome at this stage."

He added: "We have not taken a specific view one way or the other."

He said passengers were increasingly buying tickets by telephone or internet before they travelled, and the company had just started to trial a system in which tickets could be printed out at home.

"We will look at how tickets are being sold throughout the day," he said.

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"If we find there is a period that is particularly quiet and nobody comes in, we have to look at that and say, are we better off spending the money somewhere else?

"People would rightly ask questions if we did not run things in the most cost-effective way possible."

But he said that any changes would not necessarily mean a reduction in station hours.

He added that part-time staff had been brought back last year to three stations that were unstaffed for 30 years.

Some staff fear that the review will lead to cutbacks.

Yarmouth and Lowestoft are seen as particular candidates to close earlier - despite Norfolk County Council's work to improve transport links to Yarmouth, and the likely increase in travellers once the outer harbour opens.

Mr Denby said: "Yarmouth has particular issues related to the summer and holidays and tourism; issues around that determine the need for staffing."

Ironically, One announced last week that it was running trials of a new internet ticketing scheme on its London to Cambridge line.