West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin signs joint statement on rail ticket office closure consultationR

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy BrabinMayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin
Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin
West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin has issued a joint statement after a consultation to close almost all rail ticket offices in the country ended.

Train companies are pressing ahead with plans to close hundreds of facilities at stations across England over the next three years.

Almost 85 per cent of the region’s ticket offices would close under the proposals, with only three of the 69 stations in West Yorkshire retaining the service

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The statement is signed by Ms Brabin, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Mayor of Liverpool City-Region Steve Rotheram, and Mayor of South Yorkshire Oliver Coppard.

It said: “The train companies initially tried to push the closure of ticket offices through, under the radar. Together, we made them listen.

“Our legal challenge resulted in the operators extending the consultation process, addressing unfair accessibility issues and producing Equality Impact Assessments which are vital in assessing the plans.

"This meant that more people were able to have their say on the plans – and may otherwise have remained unheard.

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“The law is clear that operators cannot close parts of stations without following the clear procedure set out in the Railways Act 2005.

"This procedure has still not been followed and the process of our legal challenge with the train firms around this remains ongoing.

“Closing ticket offices will hit the most vulnerable hardest. At a time when we need more people using the railways, these plans would have the opposite effect.

“All eyes are now on Transport Focus to see how they respond to the hundreds of thousands of responses that we believe they have received. There is still an opportunity here to do the right thing and stop these plans now.

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“In the meantime, we stand firm, and we will keep fighting."

Wakefield Westgate, Halifax and Dewsbury are among the busiest stations in West Yorkshire.

Calderdale and Wakefield councils have lodged their objection to controversial plans to close three of the area’s rail station ticket offices.

In Wakefield, councillors voted overwhelmingly in favour of the motion to show “unwavering support” for transport unions and workers “struggling for fair working conditions, pay and job security”.