Regarding the recent developments at Harrogate station, ticket barriers really only work in larger stations where there is only one entrance. There can then be about 20 gates spread across the concourse and queueing is kept to a minimum. Only five gates will result in severe congestion at certain times, as a four coach train seats nearly 300 passengers.
The other difference at Harrogate is that there are two entrances. People visit the station for a variety of reasons, only one of which is to travel on that day.
Customers may need information from the ticket office about planning journeys or buying advance tickets, they may need a particular timetable or may be collecting tickets already purchased on the internet. As it’s not possible to do any of these things on the platform 3 side, people walk over the footbridge to the west side to access these facilities. With the main car park and cycle route to the station also on the east side, it would be totally unacceptable to block this legitimate non-passenger access from this side of the station.
Wheatlands Road, Harrogate