PEDESTRIANS could be put at risk by plans for Chester Railway Station.
That is the view of County Councillor Molly Hale (Lib Dem, Hoole and Newton) who is warning that time is running out for Cestrians to make their views known.
Although the official consultation period on the county council's £1.5 million proposals for the forecourt of the station ends today, the council says it will still listen to views expressed following the deadline.
Cllr Hale claims the plans take little account of pedestrians and their safety.
She said: 'What they've come up with seems to be quite useless to me. This is a once in a lifetime project and they should get it right. This kind of money won't be available again for a long, long time. I don't believe this scheme really addresses the safety of pedestrians.
'Coming out of the station people will have to cross right through the whole of station square, with taxis, buses and normal traffic all going through there.
'I don't think enough people are interested and involved with it at the moment - it seems to be very low profile.'
Work is expected to start on the station forecourt - or station square - in February next year.
The plans for station square form part of a £6 million revamp.
Mike Ross, county council transport co-ordinator for projects and policy, explained that pedestrians would be provided for in the proposals, although he admitted there would be no crossing controlled by traffic lights or zebra crossing outside the station.
He said: 'We will have three marked crossings for pedestrians which will have distinctive surfaces.
'The whole scheme has been audited and the design is felt to be safe.'
Mr Roth said road markings and an extension of the pavement around the station would persuade motorists to slow down.
Under the planned layout the present roundabout would be removed and long stay car-parking would be provided adjacent to the Queen Hotel.
Taxis and the City Rail Link Bus (CRLB) would be accommodated just outside the station entrance with a bus stop directly opposite.
For information on the plans go to www.cheshire.gov.uk/chesterrailgateway.
Electronic gates ensure fare play on the railway
FARE dodgers will be foiled by new ticket gates due to go live at Chester Station today.
The gates, which can read more than 30 tickets a minute, are being supported by two self-serve ticket machines.
Beverley Jones, head of stations for Arriva Trains Wales, said: 'The new ticket gates will allow large numbers of customers to pass through ticket inspection quickly and ensure they are not paying for other travellers who avoid buying a ticket.
'The ticket barriers, like those at other UK stations, are easy to use and read tickets in milliseconds.They will only operate when our employees are on hand to help or answer questions.
'We are reminding customers to allow plenty of time to buy their tickets and there are numerous ways they can do so to ensure they can pass through the station quickly.
'These include buying monthly and weekly passes in advance from booking offices or using the self-service ticket machines at Chester on the day of travel.
'Customers boarding at unstaffed stations can buy daily tickets from any conductor or assistant ticket examiner on board our trains.'
Ticketless travel costs the rail industry millions each year and means less revenue can be invested in improving train services for customers.