A COUNCILLOR who raised concerns about people with disabilities being able to access train tickets has received reassurances from operator Northern.

Coun. Anne Dale had said that, following a new ticket machine being placed at Riding Mill station on the westbound platform, and the only access being via stairs up a footbridge, those with disabilities would have to make a round trip of around 20 minutes.

They would have to make a 10-minute journey past the pub and into Broomhaugh to access the footpath to take them to the other platform, before retracing their route back around to the eastbound platform.

People had previously bought their tickets on board, but passengers were told not to board a train without a ticket, raising concerns that those who could not access the machine would be penalised on board.

However, Northern’s interim regional director Anna Weeks has visited the station to meet with Coun. Dale and look at the situation. As a result she has said that enforcement staff would be told not to enforce penalty fares where people were unable to access a machine.

Coun Dale said: “I was delighted that the interim regional director took the time to come out to Riding Mill to see how the more rural stations are managed and the complications that can arise such as the difficulty to access tickets for people with disabilities.”

In addition Coun. Dale said it had been confirmed that duo products, for people to save money if travelling in a pair, which had previously not been available on the new machines, would be available from April.