Travel information centres in Clitheroe and Carnforth have closure threat lifted
Transport information centres at Clitheroe interchange and Carnforth railway station are set to remain open after community groups successfully applied to take them over.
Lancashire County Council received expressions of interest from two organisations after it announced closure plans for the two facilities - and two others in Preston and Nelson - last year.
Community Rail Lancashire, has been given the go-ahead to take over the Clitheroe information service, after submitting a bid which laid out plans to “develop the service further, identify additional revenue streams and expand current service provision”, as well as provide support to vulnerable groups.
In Carnforth, community organisation Leeds-Morecambe Line for Carnforth, was found to have submitted a “comprehensive” application which demonstrated “award-winning community skills and experience”.
Both of the community groups expect to be able to take over their respective facilities within six months. They will have to negotiate their own deals with train-operating companies to provide a ticket sales service and existing centre staff could be transferred across to the organisations.
Council leader Geoff Driver said the authority would “give all the support we can” to the new ventures.
But services in Preston and Nelson will close after a bid from a commercial organisation, which wanted control of all four sites, was judged to have been "significantly limited".
Last year’s public consultation found 65 percent of almost 900 respondents would travel less often if the information centres were closed.
A council assessment concluded that the service was “particularly popular with older people and people with disabilities” for whom getting information from other sources was perceived to be more difficult.
The move is expected to save the county council £156,000 per year when implemented.