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NPC calls for immediate halt to rail operators’ plans

The National Pensioners’ Convention is calling for government and rail operators to urgently scrap plans to close virtually all rail station ticket offices.


The UK’s largest campaign group run for and by older people, says the proposal to shut hundreds of ticket offices discriminates against our oldest and most vulnerable people and breaches their human rights.


Mass closure of rail ticket offices a breach

of older & vulnerable people’s rights


NPC General Secretary said: “We have been afraid that these closures were coming, but the sheer scale of the proposal is not just scandalous, it is heartless.


“The train operators have taken scant notice of pleas by NPC and other concerned groups. The closures will have huge consequences for those who cannot get online to buy a rail ticket because they don’t have, or cannot use a computer or smartphone. It effectively discriminates against them by removing their access to travel, or their ability to get better priced ticket deals.”


The train companies plan to press ahead with the closures across England over the next three years. They have said ticket kiosks would remain in large stations, and staff in some places would sell tickets on platforms.


Meantime the government is holding a brief,15 day public consultation before it makes a final decision on which offices will close.


Jan Shortt said: “The NPC is joining with the Association of British Commuters, the RMT and disability groups in urgently responding to the 15-day Transport Focus & London Travelwatch consultation on the proposals.


“We are also writing to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and the Equalities & Human Rights Commission (EHRC), who we understand were, shockingly given no notice on the plans.


“We have no intention of allowing these plans to be pushed through and will campaign robustly against them.”


NPC calls for immediate halt to rail operators’ plans


Around three out of every five stations have a ticket office at present, although some are only staffed part time. The Rail Delivery Group, which represent the train companies says only 12% of tickets were sold at ticket offices last year, with the rest bought online or from vending machines.


Jan Shortt responded: “Vending machines do not offer the best prices, or offer assistance, or support those with mobility issues to board trains.”


ENDS

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