The sudden removal of a ‘vital service’ for travellers at Hunmanby Railway Station will affect passenger numbers if it remains unreplaced according to a local transport campaigner.
Nick Harvey, of Stonegate in Hunmanby, is calling for the station’s help phone to be reinstated after it was taken down without explanation earlier this year.
He says the inconveniance of not having the phone will affect passenger numbers, which the villagers has worked hard to boost.
Mr Harvey said: “The railway line has only nine trains to and from Scarborough and Hull each day, there is a long wait between trains.
“The phone was vital to find out if a train was late or cancelled. It is a half mile walk to the nearest bus stop, there is no local taxi firm in Hunmanby.
“Information to passengers is vital, especially if travelling long distance and a connection is being made at Hull or Seamer, or if people are travelling to and from work, hospital or further education.
“The village has worked hard, we have created nice flower beds at the railway station and promote and distribute train timetables that have helped boost passenger numbers. I do not like to see volunteers time wasted, having built up passenger numbers I do not want to see them fall due to an inadequate information system at Hunmanby railway station.
“I use the trains regularly and every station I use, with the excention of Hunmanby has some form of comunication system in place to help passengers with information.”
Despite initially writing to Northern Rail in April without reply, Mr Harvey has now received a response from Passenger Focus, which liased with Northern Rail.
It said the phone was removed by BT due to a fault on the line, due to the phone being exposed to the elements rather than under a shelter.
A spokesperson from Passenger Focus said to Mr Harvey: “We can appreciate your frustration at this situation, especially as you are trying to promote the use of the station.
“Northern say they appreciate this is not an ideal situation for a station in these circumstances but say they simply do not have the funding to invest in the cost of installing a new telephone in a shelter.
“Passenger Focus would like the provision of public telephones, we particularly feel that the provision of information is important at stations and continue to work with the rail industry to emphasise this point. Unfortunately we are not able to compel Northern to install a telephone at Hunmanby Station.
“When the new franchise is awarded our Passenger Managers will work closely with the new franchisee with a view to ensuring that the train operator is aware of the issues that matter to passengers.”