NEW automatic ticket gates are to be installed at Leeds City Station in a £1.6m investment by Northern Rail.
Work begins today on replacing the existing ticket booths with the 25 new gates, which are expected to make it easier for passengers to travel through the station, the busiest in Britain outside London.
As previously reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds is one of three northern railway stations to get the new gates, which are expected to reduce congestion at peak times and cut the number of fare-dodgers.
The new barriers work by allowing customers to feed their tickets into a slot at one end of the gates, which pop out at the other end as passengers go through.
Steve Butcher, area director east for Northern Rail, said: "There has been a dramatic rise in the numbers of passengers using Leeds station in the last few years and the trend looks set to continue.
"We've been working with Network Rail, who manage the station, to identify how we can help accommodate more customers.
"These new ticket gates will help move people through the station more quickly and will help reduce anti-social behaviour."
The new gates, which are similar to those used on the London underground, are expected to reduce the number of people travelling without a ticket, estimated to cost the rail industry 210m every year.
They will be installed on the platform side of the existing barriers and should be in use by the end of the year.
Posters and leaflets explaining how the ticket gates work are available at Leeds and other stations in the region, including Blackpool North and Manchester Oxford Road, which will also benefit from the multi-million pound scheme.
Helen Dawson, Network Rail's station manager at Leeds, said: "As owner and operator of the station, we will be working closely with Northern Rail to keep passenger journeys as simple as possible and help them to adapt to the new system."
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