Ticket barriers will be introduced at Macclesfield train station to stop fare dodgers, it has been revealed.
Train services through the town are set to change hands in December when First Group take over the West Coast mainline franchise from Virgin in December.
It is currently the subject of a legal challenge from Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson – but the man set to be in charge of the line appeared before the Make It Macclesfield business breakfast on Friday.
The Express reported last week that First’s managing director Richard Parry had promised not to cut services to London.
And speaking at the meeting of the town’s movers and shakers he reiterated his promise – and repeated his pledge to invest thousands in the station.
This will include the overhauling of the current ticket hall and the introduction of barriers.
These prevent anyone without a ticket getting on to the platform or boarding a train, cutting down on the number of fare dodgers.
Mr Parry told the meeting at Macclesfield town hall: "I understand how important the railway is to this community and I’m here to reassure you.
"And I want people to be excited about the plans we have.
"We will address the ticket hall and will introduce ticket barriers in the first few years of the franchise.
"That fits in with our plan for smart ticketing, tickets on your mobile phones and the like.
"It’s about making the journey to the station easier and making it quicker to get onto the train."
"I haven’t got a bottomless pit of money to spend on stations but I am clear we should use it to make a real difference."
He also promised that popular station staff, who received high praise from people at the meeting, would not be lost.
Business leaders welcomed the promise of improvements to the station.
Clare Hayward, chairman of Make It Macclesfield, said a cashmachine and more shops had also been suggested to be included in the improvement.