Green Party Transport Spokesperson Matt Edwards has urged for rail station ticket offices to be kept open, calling plans for widespread closures ‘short-sighted’.
The proposed shut downs were announced by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), and would close nearly every ticket office in the country in an attempt to cut costs in response to falling passenger numbers and revenue post-COVID.
Responding to a consultation on the closures, Edwards said: “Any decision to close station ticket offices would be another short-sighted decision by a government that does not care about people who use public transport to get around.”
Passengers would only be able to purchase their tickets online or via a ticket machine in all but the busiest stations. The RDG has not yet announced how many jobs could be lost.
Edwards, who is also Leader of the Green Party Group on Bradford Council, continued: “Anyone who uses the train will know that the machines at our stations are not reliable and they don’t always make it clear which ticket is the cheapest ticket to buy. This will also make it more difficult for people who need to pay for tickets with cash.
“Being able to speak to someone is vital for many passengers and plans to close ticketing offices will make travelling by train more difficult for thousands of passengers – especially passengers with disabilities, those with limited mobility and parents travelling with children.
“Instead of another needless fight with unions and passengers, the government should be focusing on getting services running on time, dealing with overcrowding and making travelling by rail more convenient and affordable. Closing ticket offices will achieve none of that."