STATEMENT – Railway station ticket office proposals

Issued on behalf of Councillor Neil Hughes, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet member for Transport and Environmental Services

As the Cabinet member for Transport and Environmental Services I wish to place on record my opposition to the potential closure of the vast majority of rail ticket offices in the next 12-18 months under proposals being put forward by the Rail Delivery Group. 

As a council we will be formally responding to the current consultation in due course, but I made it clear in our Cabinet meeting last week that in my own opinion the proposed closures would have a severe detrimental impact on many people in our communities.

It will disadvantage those people unable to purchase online tickets, and it will be extremely inconvenient for many with disabilities, particularly those rail users with vision impairments. It would fly in the face of inclusivity principles.

A number of ticket offices in Westmorland and Furness would be impacted if these proposed closures go ahead, including on the Furness line at Ulverston and Grange and Oxenholme and Penrith on the West Coast main line.

Not only do these offices provide the service of issuing tickets, the staff are also there to support customers and are part of the safe and effective operation of the railway, making sure people get the right ticket at the best price and giving out timetable information and assistance.

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