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Ticket office closed after arson attack


Ticket office closed after arson attack

A CHELTENHAM teenager has been arrested after an arson attack at Gloucester railway station.

Extra staff have been deployed following the fire which wrecked the ticket office and caused widespread disruption to rail passengers over the weekend.

Firefighters and police were called out to the station at 1.30am on New Year's Eve after the fire started in the office in the main station building.

Although rail services were not affected, First Great Western has confirmed the office will be closed for a number of weeks.

The train operator's head of communications, Sue Evans, said: "The damage is quite extensive and the ticket office is going to be closed for at least four to six weeks.

"What we have done is put posters up to advise customers and we will have mobile ticket office staff so passengers will be able to buy tickets.

"The only thing they won't be able to do is issue season tickets, but they will be taking passengers' details and giving them a permit to travel.

"Their details will be processed in the day and their tickets will then be available to pick up in the evening."

She said staff would be in place from this morning to help customers, and contractors would be coming in to install a mobile ticket office soon.

She added: "The fire also had an impact on the customer information screens system, but there will be additional staff to help passengers.

"We will be working very closely with police to understand what happened."

A spokesman for Gloucestershire police said: "We were called to a fire at the railway station.

"The fire service reported a large fire at the ticket office at 1.30am on December 31.

"It was extinguished by 2.30am, but had caused extensive damage.

"Police are treating the fire as suspicious and have arrested a 17-year-old boy from Cheltenham on suspicion of arson in connection with the case."

The teenager has since been released on police bail to return on Monday.

Anyone with any information about the incident should call Gloucestershire police on 0845 090 1234, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, quoting incident 32 of December 31. Passenger inquiries should be directed to First Great Western by calling 08457 000 125.

  From  http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/news/Ticket-office-closed-arson-attack/article-3059029-detail/article.html

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