The Leader of Bradford Council, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, and the Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, have expressed their approval of the Government’s announcement today (31 October) that the plans to shut down rail ticket offices will not go ahead.
Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, issued the announcement, urging train operators to retract their proposals due to their failure to meet the high standards expected by passengers.
The proposed changes would have resulted in the closure of nearly 85% of ticket offices in West Yorkshire, leaving only three out of the 69 stations in the region with operational ticket offices. Among the ticket offices in the Bradford District that were slated for closure were those in Bingley, Bradford Forster Square, Ilkley, Keighley, Menston, and Shipley.
Throughout the summer, leaders from across the region voiced their apprehensions about the plans, highlighting the insufficient consideration given to their potential impact on the public. This was particularly concerning for individuals with disabilities or those in need of additional customer support, as well as those without digital access.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, The leader of Bradford Council and Chair of West Yorkshire Transport Committee, said: “We welcome today’s announcement that the plans to close ticket offices across our district and the wider region will not now go ahead.
“Leaders and rail user groups across the region had voiced their concerns about the plans which would have had significant impacts on those passengers who use ticket offices and the staff who work there. It really is good news for both passengers and staff that the planned closures will not now go ahead.”
Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Executive member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This is very welcome news for rail users in our region. The impact of these proposals, particularly on those who may need additional support at the station and to buy tickets, was not properly thought through. We’re glad the Government has listened and taken the right course of action to scrap these plans. We want our railways to be as safe and inclusive as possible so more people use them.”