Bath Voice News: Bath Spa Railway Station Ticket Office to remain open as Government rejects plans to close all ticket offices after consultation

By Harry Mottram: Plans to close almost all railway station ticket offices have been scrapped following a campaign led by the Rail Unions, charities and transport campaign groups. The rail firms behind the cost cutting exercise have been told by Transport Secretary Mark Harper to withdraw the controversial plans. Bath Spa could well have been one of the stations hit – causing anger amongst groups that represent the visually impaired, the blind, the elderly and local representatives such as Bath MP Wera Hobhouse, Metro Mayor Dan Norris, Cllr Joanne Wright (Lead Member for Integrated Transport Authority), the passenger watchdog Transport Focus along with the station workers at Bath Spa railway station.

The good news follows a consultation process in which hundreds of thousands of responses were received damning the proposals and championing the ticket offices for being a reassurance for those who do not use the internet, the visually impaired and foreign visitors and those without the ability to read English.

Mark Harper said: “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.”

Previously GWR said transactions at its ticket offices had fallen below 15 per cent and the plans would see ticket office staff working on platforms and concourses where they could be closer to customers and help them with a wider range of issues, while the kiosks could be phased out over a number of years. They added their plan to close ticket offices would keep stations “up-to-date.”

Clearly the petitions, demonstrations, letters and responses to the plans – across the political spectrum – have said loud and clear to keep the ticket offices open.

Harry Mottram is the News Editor

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Harry Mottram is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Telegram, TikTok and Mobile: 07789 864769