Consultation to close railway ticket office extended

Posted: Wednesday 26 July 2023
Two women using a railway ticket machine

The consultation into the plan to close hundreds of ticket offices in England is set to be extended, following opposition from passengers, unions and disability charities. 

Earlier this month the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) introduced a three-week consultation for passengers to share their views on the closure of ticket offices at 974 railway stations across England.

But, following huge concern from unions and disability groups, the consultation, which was due to end at midnight on Wednesday 26 July, was extended to Friday 1 September.  

According to Transport Focus the proposals received more than 170,000 responses, including concerns from the Macular Society and other sight loss charities about the impact the closures would have on visually impaired rail users.

The RDG said it had listened to feedback and has extended the consultation period "to give as many people as possible a chance to take part."

Macular Society chief executive, Cathy Yelf said: “The responses so far show the strength of feeling against these proposals.

“While we welcome this extension to the consultation we would urge the Rail Delivery Group to rethink these plans, which will affect the ability of those living with sight loss to purchase tickets, arrange essential assistance and ultimately travel independently by rail.

“If you want to keep ticket offices open, we strongly encourage you to have your say on the plans and join us in fighting to keep this vital service.”

Earlier this month sight loss charities the Macular Society, Thomas Pocklington Trust, RNIB, Guide Dogs, Retina UK, Blind Veterans UK, Glaucoma UK, Visionary, SeeAbility and Fight for Sight sent a letter for the attention of the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Mark Harper MP opposing the proposals. 

Read the full letter. 

How to have your say

If you are outside of London, you can have your say on the proposals by sending your thoughts via email to your local railway operator, or digitally via the Transport Focus form.

Alternatively you can send a letter, using the freepost address: RTEH-XAGE-BYKZ, Transport Focus, PO Box 5594, Southend on Sea, SS1 9PZ

If you are in London you can contact London TravelWatch which is the statutory rail passenger watchdog that will review all consultation responses, before making a recommendation for any next steps. If you need assistance to provide your feedback, you can contact London TravelWatch by phone on 0203 176 2999.

Write to your MP

Finally, you can also download an online template letter and write to your MP. Find your MP and their contact details using the search on the UK Parliament website.