South Cambs Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate Pippa Heylings has welcomed the Government’s U-turn and decision to keep railway station ticket offices open.
Campaigning against these closures has been successful. The proposals from train operators, forced by the Department for Transport, would have seen much-needed ticket offices at Whittlesford Parkway, Ashwell and Morden, Meldreth and Shelford stations closed. The Prime Minister initially publicly backed the proposals, but a huge backlash has forced this climb down.
Pippa’s petition against the closures gained hundreds of signatures, along with many detailed accounts from residents of the importance of the stations, particularly for the elderly, for blind and visually impaired people and those with disabilities – as well as for those looking for the most economical tickets for longer journeys. Across the country, there were over 750,000 responses to the consultation, 99% of which were objections.
These short-sighted proposals should never have seen the light of day. It’s just another example of a Government out of touch with the needs of ordinary people. Closing these ticket offices would have caused real distress and would have severely limited the freedom and rights of disabled people to travel, something which I highlighted would have gone against the Equality Act. I would like to thank all those residents who got in touch with me to share their views and experiences, which I fed in to my detailed response to the consultation. The Government should now focus on improving our railways rather than more short-sighted cuts.Pippa Heylings 1 November 2023