Safety fears after McNulty suggests closing four Islington stations

�Rail passengers have raised concerns about their safety after it emerged four stations in Islington could be unmanned in future.

The McNulty Report, which could shape the government’s plans for railway services in Britain, suggests Upper Holloway, Caledonian Road and Barnsbury, Drayton Park and Essex Road, are among 265 which should be left without a ticket office and only staffed for part of the day.

Yet despite the report, rail operators Transport for London (TfL) and First Capital Connect – which each manage two of the stations – insist there are no immediate plans to close ticket offices.

Commuter Sandra Richards, 61, who uses Caledonian Road regularly, said: “It is wrong for people who work late at night.”

Rail traveller Anna Deriukiewicz, 45, said: “No staff is not good because people ask the staff questions every day and it is also good to have them there for safety.”

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Jennette Arnold, London Assembly member for Islington, said: “I’m really worried that stations that can already feel less than safe will become intimidating places for passengers and more inviting places for criminals.”

Backward step

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Cllr Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “This is a real backward step because places like railway stations could become areas where crime develops and fewer people using the stations means a loss. Suddenly all the investment is wasted. The council will be fighting against this for residents.”

The report was written by former Civil Aviation Authority chief Roy McNulty and commissioned by the former Labour government. The final decision to close a station would be made by the train operator.

A spokeswoman for the Mayor of London said: “There are no plans to close the ticket offices at Upper Holloway and Caledonian Road and Barnsbury – which Transport for London are responsible for – and we remain committed to staffing them while services are operating.

“This, combined with the highest ever levels of police on the network and more CCTV, means our stations are and will continue to be safe for all that use them.”

A spokesman for First Capital Connect, which manages Drayton Park and Essex Road, said they had no plans to close ticket offices at either.

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