THE replacement of parking machines with an app at Ulverston train station has made it 'less accessible' for elderly users, a councillor said. 

Urswick, Bardsea and Stainton parish councillor Denise Chamberlain called it 'another example of taking away accessibility for users' on the Furness Line. 

Rail operator Northern removed the machines at the station's car park in June 2022 because of a 'significant reduction in the use of cash.' 

Cllr Chamberlain accepted fewer people use cash but she argued that while almost every elderly person now carries a card, not as many use smartphones or are willing to put financial data into their phones. 

She said on a recent trip to the station she helped out an older woman who was anxious about how she was going to pay for her parking. 

"There was an elderly lady there becoming anxious because she didn't know how to pay through the app. It's just another example of a loss of service," she said.

For Cllr Chamberlain, a compromise would have been to keep machines that only took chip and pin and contactless rather than removing them altogether. 

A Northern spokesperson said: "We decided to remove a number of machines from our car parks two years ago after seeing a significant reduction in the use of cash.

"It was agreed that staff, who were being sent to collect a relatively small number of coins from these car parks, could be redeployed to help customers.

"There are signs at Ulverston Station explaining that customers can pay for parking by using the RingGo app or telephone service and there are no transaction fees for those payment methods.”

It has been a busy time from the station as it recently received a £10,000 upgrade, with its waiting room repainted and the clock tower, chimney stacks and canopy gutters repaired. 

Northern and Network Rail are preparing plans to replace the glass roof, which is currently held up by scaffolding, install a new lighting system and replace the stained glass windows.