The Government has announced a U Turn on its decision to close rail ticket offices, meaning the offices at Reddish North, Levenshulme, Gorton, Mauldeth Road and Guide Bridge will remain open.
The announcement which came today followed a consultation that received 75000 responses, 99% of them being against the closures. This has followed months of campaigning and not to mention weeks of concern by passenger groups and disability charities worrying about the devastating consequences if this proposal was implemented.
The final nail in the coffin of the plan to close the ticket offices has been the industry watchdog Transport Focus, essentially agreeing with public feeling that there are “serious overall concerns” about the plans, and furthermore that some train companies were unable to show they would be able to sell a full range of tickets, handle cash payments and avoid excessive queues at ticket machines.
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, and Labour candidate for the new Gorton and Denton Parliamentary constituency said:
“The decision to keep ticket offices open really is the right one, and I am glad the Government has chosen to do the right thing. This will make such a difference to passengers all over the area. I really am delighted.
“Sometimes it feels like some unfair proposals like these are fait accompli, and in this case I really was not sure the Government would back down. But we have shown it can be done, and I pay tribute to all the campaigners, locally and nationally who have made our voice heard.”