Passengers want to pay their train fare

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Rail passengers between Morecambe and Lancaster say they want to pay their fare but can’t buy a ticket.

A regular passenger between Morecambe and Bare Lane, who asked not to be named, said: “There have been several occasions recently where I’ve got on at either Morecambe or Bare Lane with no ticket because there was nowhere to buy one.

“More than one time, I’ve approached the conductor when getting off the train, offering to pay, and been told not to bother.

“They must be losing hundreds of pounds if this is happening all the time.”

Jim Speed, 66, from Brunswick Road, Heysham, said of a recent journey: “The train departed on time and a stop was made at Bare Lane. At no point in the journey did the conductor leave the rear cab, to collect any fares.”

Chairman of Lancaster and Morecambe Rail User Group Paul Grant said: “We did a passenger count on the Lancaster to Morecambe line and we found in the morning rush there were two conductors on the train whose machines weren’t working. I can empathise with the complaints but it is a failure of the ticket machines rather than the staff.

“The Morecambe ticket office has been shut so people have not been able to buy a ticket there.

“It’s not good, we are pushing for better services. “

David Morris MP said: “Northern Rail are responsible for this service and have provided Mr Speed with a full and fair response. The new franchise which will be introduced in April 2016 will further improve services for passengers all across the area.”

A Northern Rail spokesman said: “Unfortunately, due to vandalism, the ticket office at Morecambe station remains closed until further notice.

“Customers needing tickets can purchase these in advance at Preston or Lancaster stations.

“We have agreed to refund tickets to either Preston or Lancaster if a customer has to travel there in advance to purchase a ticket.

“The decision of future investment on our network will be for the winners of the next Northern franchise and the Department for Transport to decide.

“The next franchise starts in April 2016 and includes requirements for significant investment in stations and trains.”