Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Thursday, 29 October 2009

Appeal bid over station barriers

Proposed barrier
National Express said the barriers would cut fare dodging

A rail company is appealing against a decision not to allow ticket barriers at York railway station.

In July, councillors rejected plans by National Express East Coast to install 17 automatic tickets gates and barriers within the Grade II listed station.

The company said the scheme would cut fare dodging but objectors have said they were unsightly and unnecessary.

The controversial plans were thrown out over concerns the barriers would detract from the station's character.

Neal Smith, from National Express East Coast, said the company believed the council's decision was wrong.

Scheme modified

He said they were expected to deliver the scheme as part of a franchise agreement with the Department of Transport.

You stop people going to meet their friends and their relatives, which is part of the travel experience
Objector Jonathan Tyler

"We have listened to the objectors and we have modified the scheme, for example we've reduced the height of the gates that are proposed from 1.8m to 1.1m and we've looked at a new access to the short stay car park."

Mr Smith added: "We do think it is the right decision and as I've said it is a commitment that the government expects us to deliver."

Objectors have argued the gates would be out of keeping with the building's historic feel.

Jonathan Tyler, chairman of the York Environment Forum, which campaigns for a sustainable way of life in the city, said the barriers would act as a "physical impediment".

He said: "There is a small limited problem of ticket fraud and evasion but there are better ways of tackling that by dealing with it on trains where it can be part of the customer service.

"If you install barriers at stations you introduce a physical impediment. You stop people going to meet their friends and their relatives, which is part of the travel experience and above all you take it out of the public realm."

The appeal is expected to be heard in the new year.

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