Fears for rail passengers have been raised after a decision to make Huncoat into a ‘request stop’ station.
Northern Rail bosses will introduce the change because of low footfall on the Blackpool South to Colne line. It is one of four stations to be affected by changes, which will come into effect on May 14 – the others being Pleasington, Hapton and Burnley Barracks.
Huncoat councillor Dave Parkins said he is ‘appalled’ by the decision and said vulnerable people could be affected.
He said: "At the end of the day it looks like they are de-scaling the service and yet again they are cutting back services to the public. Once it starts then there’s no stopping it.
"If the train is packed at night they might not be able to alert the guard and what are they going to do then? What if it’s a pensioner, or an elderly woman, or a disabled person? They don’t take this into consideration. It’s diabolical they are even thinking of doing it."
Campaigners for Save The East Lancashire Line Association (STELLA) said they have not been given any notice about the changes.
Secretary Alan Benson said: "It’s all right if someone is standing at the platform as the driver knows to stop. However, if someone in the back compartment wanted to get off and the guard is at the front then how will they know?
"When guards check tickets they won’t be able to remember which people want to get off at which stop.
"It will also have a knock-on effect on the timetable because on some journeys they could stop off at all four stations and another time not stop at any."
Northern Rail said trains will automatically stop at Huncoat station if passengers are waiting to board and passengers will also be able to inform the conductor where they want to get off.
A spokesperson added: "These stations have a very small number of passengers using them and often services are stopping with no one getting on or off, so by introducing request stops we can help improve the reliability for passengers along the whole route."