Liz Truss and James Wild back Government decision to U-turn on railway ticket office closures
West Norfolk’s MPs have praised the impact a U-turn on railway ticket office closures will have on “vulnerable” train users in the borough.
Today, plans to close hundreds of ticket offices across England have been scrapped after Transport Secretary Mark Harper said the Government had asked train operators to withdraw their proposals.
The Greater Anglia and Great Northern plans, which would have affected stations in Lynn and Downham, faced backlash from campaign groups worried about the potential impact on elderly residents – while Norfolk County Council said it could not support the idea.
Rail bosses are reportedly “furious” with the decision, claiming the Department for Transport had previously backed the plans.
However, after the decision, South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss said: “When proposals were first mooted to close the ticket offices at Thetford and Downham, I urged Greater Anglia and Great Northern to rethink the move.
“My postbag has been inundated with letters from constituents worried about what this would mean for vulnerable passengers unable to buy tickets online or from machines.
“I’m glad the Government appears to have understood the public mood on this issue in calling for the proposals to be shelved. Rail users will be reassured that they will still be able to purchase tickets and make enquiries about their travel at the ticket offices at Thetford and Downham.”
James Wild, the MP for North West Norfolk, said: “This is the right decision that reflects my opposition to the planned closures which I’ve set out to ministers on behalf of local passengers.
“While many choose to buy online or at ticket machines, vulnerable people rely on the support provided by ticket office staff and stopping the closure of Lynn ticket office is welcome news for them.”