Railway ticket office closure U-turn: Adur Labour group said it was 'no surprise' plans 'have fallen apart under scrutiny'
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The decision, which was announced earlier this week, follows a huge public backlash to the cost-cutting proposals.
A public consultation attracted 750,000 responses – 99 per cent of which were objections, according to the passenger watchdogs managing the survey.
Labour group leader, Jeremy Gardner, said: “Ticket offices and frontline rail staff play an essential role in making train travel possible for so many people in Adur.
"It comes as no surprise that the independent passenger watchdogs have objected to proposals to close ticket offices and that these plans have fallen apart under scrutiny. If they’d gone ahead, they were always going to make travelling difficult for passengers, hitting people’s ability to ‘travel independently’, increasing crime rates and prompting more industrial action.”
Rail companies had intended to shut almost all of England's 1,007 railway station ticket offices. It was a proposal that sparked fury among passengers – particularly the elderly and disabled – as well as unions and charities.
On Tuesday (October 31), transport secretary Mark Harper said the UK Government has asked train operators to withdraw their proposals.
Councillor Catherine Arnold, who organised several protests to stop the closures, said: “The government failed to come clean on the impact of these proposals for accessibility and job security and now have been forced into a humiliating climb down.
"I’m relieved that the government has listened to the voices of people in Adur who opposed to the closure of ticket offices in Lancing, Shoreham and Southwick.
"Booking office staff are vital because they give passengers advice and assistance on ticket information, station security and can assist the elderly as well as people with disabilities, limited mobility or young children.”
Among those to campaign against the plans was Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham.
Following the U-turn news, Mr Loughton wrote: “Great news that the government has listened to the consultation and views of 750k people who want to keep train ticket offices open as we have been campaigning for in East Worthing & Shoreham. Train operators told to scrap proposal. Good win for people power and common sense.”