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Last call for 'vital' travel information centre

The centre is set to close
The centre is set to close
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Bus and rail users will find planning their journeys more difficult after it emerged that Lancashire County Council is planning to close the information centre at Nelson Interchange.

The council is proposing to save £156,000 by closing information centres at Nelson, Clitheroe, Preston Bus Station and Carnforth Railway Station.

County council leader County Coun. Geoff Driver said it was committed to protecting services for the most vulnerable in our communities, but added that a £144m. funding gap had to be plugged.

However, Pendle pensioner Mrs Yvonne May (75) disagreed with County Coun. Driver and said that vulnerable people would be the most affected by this closure.

Mrs May, from Colne, is a regular rail and bus passenger but does not have the internet to help her plan journeys.

The retired lecturer said: “Closing the transport information centre is utter madness, it is always fantastically busy.

“For people like myself, who do not use the internet, the centre is invaluable in planning our journeys. The staff are amazingly knowledgeable. You cannot get that human touch of service from a computer. It is a vital service for public transport users and should be protected.”

County Coun. Driver said: “Like many other local authorities, our financial position remains extremely challenging, with a forecasted funding gap of more than £144m. in 2021/22, which means we have to make some difficult decisions to balance the books.

“We know that many people value the services provided by these information centres.

“At the same time, train operating companies and bus operators work hard to make it easier for people to access information and buy tickets via machines at stations, and many people now choose to do this online.”

A consultation, which began on March 5th, is running until to Sunday April 29th, with people able to respond via the county council’s website or by picking up a questionnaire at the information centres.

You can respond to the consultation at www.lancashire.gov.uk/haveyoursay or via a questionnaire from Clitheroe or Nelson Interchange, Carnforth Heritage Centre, Carnforth Library or Preston Bus Station.