Fear over 'crime spot' risk at unmanned Lancashire stations if plans to cut train guards go ahead

Graffiti at Croston station
Graffiti at Croston station

More than 40 unstaffed train stations across Lancashire will become “no-go areas”  if plans for driver-only trains are implemented, campaigners have claimed.

The RMT union has named 45 unstaffed stations in the county which it fears will become unusable for vulnerable and disabled passengers, and at risk of crime if rail bosses continue to press ahead for at least 50% of Northern services to have no guards.

Ansdell station

Ansdell station

It says conductors are currently tasked with providing protection and assistance for passengers at unmanned stations as part of their role.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “No staff on many routes and lines, no staff on the stations and no staff on the trains travelling through these stations means there will be a cocktail of dangers at the locations we have identified, which will increasingly become no-go areas for vulnerable passengers and new crime hot spots.

“At the same time our isolated drivers will be on their own, increasingly exposed to anti-social and violent behaviour.

The unmanned stations include Adlington, Croston, and Euxton Balshaw Lane all near Chorley; Bamber Bridge, Lostock Hall, and Salwick, all near Preston; Burscough Junction and Rufford in West Lancashire, and Bare Lane, Heysham Port, Silverdale and Bentham, all near Lancaster.

Across the Fylde they include Ansdell & Fairhaven, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool South, Layton, Lytham and Squires Gate.

A BTP spokesman said: “We are in constant discussion with Northern Rail and are continuing to monitor the situation.

“Where any incident occurs, we will have officers available to support rail staff and passengers.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and deploy officers where needed.”