West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has hailed news that rail operators have been told by Ministers to abandon plans to close the two ticket offices at Malvern Link and Great Malvern stations.
Hundreds of constituents contacted Harriett to share their concerns and she spoke to local ticket office staff and sent a dossier to the rail regulator asking it to reassess the decision taken by West Midland Trains to shut both ticket offices.
Harriett welcomed the ministerial decision not to proceed with the plans at a time when local people are being encourage to make more use of public transport to reduce car use and help reduce individual carbon footprints.
“I expressed my clear opposition to this plan because of the effect it may have to deter rail users, particularly the older and vulnerable or disabled customers.
“The speed of response from my constituents and the sheer number of objections suggested that the rail operators had taken the wrong approach and I urged the regulator to have a close look at the proposals.
“Both Malvern Link and Great Malvern stations have had recent investment and I am delighted that my constituents have been heeded.
“I’m now calling on West Midlands Trains to engage better with their customers, to hear this feedback and realise that support for trains, stations and station staff could not be higher.”
Transport Secretary Mark Harper added:
“The consultation on ticket offices has now ended, with the Government making clear to the rail industry throughout the process that any resulting proposals must meet a high threshold of serving passengers.
“We have engaged with accessibility groups throughout this process and listened carefully to passengers as well as my colleagues in Parliament. The proposals that have resulted from this process do not meet the high thresholds set by Ministers, and so the Government has asked train operators to withdraw their proposals.
“We will continue our work to reform our railways with the expansion of contactless Pay As You Go ticketing, making stations more accessible through our Access for All programme and £350 million funding through our Network North plan to improve accessibility at up to 100 stations.”