U-turn on railway ticket office closures

Wednesday 1 November 2023

We're delighted to share that the Government has made a U-turn on plans to close railway ticket offices across England. 

Campaign to save ticket offices 

You may remember that in July we joined Transport for All in campaigning against proposed changes to close a number of staffed ticket offices across England as well as in Glasgow. We were deeply concerned about the many ways this could impact disabled people, including people with MS: from issues of personal safety to transport accessibility. 

We shared Transport for All’s template for responding to the Government consultation on rail office closures. Many of you took part to have your say and provide passenger bodies with more evidence to push back against the proposals. 

Government withdraws plans to close ticket offices 

This week, despite initial sign-off from both civil servants and ministers, Transport Secretary Mark Harper has announced that the Government have backtracked on this decision due to ‘fierce opposition’. Train operators have been officially asked to withdraw their proposals to close ticket offices, with Mr Harper citing opposition from ‘accessibility groups’ as a key reason for this change. 

Our Head of Policy, Ceri Smith, told the press:

We’re incredibly pleased the Government has listened to disabled people – including those with MS – who passionately opposed railway ticket office closures.
Ceri Smith, Head of Policy at MS Society

A win by and for the MS community 

A huge thank you to everyone who got involved by submitting a consultation response opposing these changes, or by sharing our posts on social media. Thanks to your help this is a real win for people with MS and other disabilities. It’s great to see our community being taken into account and we hope this will continue. 

Ceri added:

MS can be debilitating, exhausting and unpredictable, and many with the condition need support and assistance when travelling. The proposed changes would’ve left people with MS with fewer travel options, or even completely excluded from using trains. It’s vital stations are staffed appropriately to support disabled passengers and we’re very glad the Government has acted on concerns as a result of this consultation.
Ceri Smith, Head of Policy at MS Society

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