Is unmanned station ‘thin end of the wedge’?

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FEARS have been raised about staffing at Hemel Hempstead railway station after it was left unmanned over two days.

Travellers found the ticket office closed on a Thursday and Friday at the end of May, leading to concerns overall staffing is being reduced.

Ron Glatter, of Gravel Lane, Hemel Hempstead, said: “Our station has been unmanned for several days. None of the ticket offices were open, the barriers were wide open and there were no collectors. It’s really disturbing. Is it the thin end of the wedge? What happens if there’s an emergency at the station, if people get ill?”

London Midland is seeking approval from the Department for Transport to reduce staffing at certain stations, though not Hemel Hempstead.

External relations manager Mike Dalton said the situation was due to a staff illness. “Unfortunately we were unable to arrange cover, as we normally do in these situations, and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience,” he said.