FOUR railway stations in East Lancashire will today (Mon) become ‘request stops’ for the first time in their history.

Railway users have expressed fears that passengers may be left in the lurch as Pleasington, Hapton, Huncoat and Burnley Barracks stations are included in the programme.

Currently the only request stop in East Lancashire is at Entwistle, near Darwen, on the Citheroe to Manchester line.

But train bosses have issued a guide, through the Lancashire Telegraph, for what travellers should do to either hail or leave a scheduled service at a request stop.

Railway chiefs insist that the move will help the service to become more reliable between the Blackpool stations and Colne.

A Northern Rail spokesman said: “When you travel from these stations on or after today you will need to give a clear signal to the driver that you want the train to stop.

“When you are on the train travelling to these stations, you will need to make sure that the conductor knows that you want to get off so that they can advise the driver.”

And when passengers are on the platforms at the four stations they are being asked to give a clear signal to the driver that they intend to board.

But travellers are still being warned not to stand too close to the platform edge, for safety reasons.

The firm says that by reducing the number of times the train has to stop, if no passengers are present, this will also represent an environmental saving, as less carbon dioxide emissions will be necessary, for restarting trains.

Trains should slow down, ahead of the request stops, in readiness for a potential stop, advises the company.