Huddersfield commuters were facing a squeeze today - but this time not due to the increase of ticket prices!
The installation of new ticket barriers began overnight, leaving commuters with one narrow route through the concourse to the platforms. This crush is nothing new to regular commuters as operators at the station have routinely barriered off sections to compromise access to the trains that costs 50% more today than seven years ago.
This restriction of access is thought to have been designed to ensure support for the new ticket gates which have been installed at other stations in the region such as Leeds and Bradford Interchange by making things so utterly miserable and impractical that anything seems tolerable by comparison.
The gates in Leeds replaced the old system of manned access to the platforms and succeeded in moving the crush from the manned gates back fully twelve yards. At least as many people, if not more, are required to ensure the continued operation of the gates at busy times.
With access through the Huddersfield concourse already limited with three doors facing onto George Square and three others onto the platform, adding a third layer of restriction is expected to increase the misery of commuters and, hopefully, drive some of them off the railways altogether.
"The biggest problem with running railways", an industry insider told us, "is passengers. Bloody people who want to go from point A to point B. We've tried everything to dissuade them - blaming them in on-board announcements for the chronic overcrowding, increasing prices beyond recognition - and nothing works. If we now make it physically troublesome for people to actually get onto the platforms, we might be able to make progress on this".
The revamp is not thought to include updating the automated announcements, so would-be passengers will still be told that trains will be 'terminated' on 'arrival into' the station.