Government U-turn sees rail ticket office closures cancelled | Politics News

Government U-turn sees rail ticket office closures cancelled | Politics News

The government has cancelled rail industry plans for the mass closure of ticket offices in England, saying they failed to reach the “high threshold of serving passengers”.

The Rail Delivery Group announced over the summer that almost all of the 1,007 in-person facilities would be shut down in an effort to reduce costs after a post-COVID fall in passenger numbers.

Ministers had backed the proposals, despite concerns from unions and charities over the impact on vulnerable passengers.

But in a statement given to Sky News this morning, Transport Secretary Mark Harper confirmed he had asked train operators to “withdraw their proposals” after a public consultation.

“The consultation on ticket offices has now ended, with the government making clear to the rail industry throughout the process that any resulting proposals must meet a high threshold of serving passengers,” he said.

“We have engaged with accessibility groups throughout this process and listened carefully to passengers as well as my colleagues in parliament. The proposals that have resulted from this process do not meet the high thresholds set by ministers, and so the government has asked train operators to withdraw their proposals.

“We will continue our work to reform our railways with the expansion of contactless Pay As You Go ticketing, making stations more accessible through our Access for All programme and £350m funding through our Network North plan to improve accessibility at up to 100 stations.”

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Author: Shirley