Labour Metro Mayor Dan Norris has reacted with delight and relief as plans to close seven West of England ticket offices were scrapped by ministers. Hailing the U-turn, Mayor Dan Norris, a long-term opponent of the plans, said: “It’s the end of the line for these botched Conservative Government plans. This is a huge victory for West of England passengers, who delivered their message loud and clear that closing all our ticket offices is unacceptable.”
The plan had been to close all the West’s ticket offices where an estimated 600,000 paper tickets were sold last year.
This includes at Bristol Temple Meads, where 260,000 tickets were sold in booths, Bath Spa where 212,000 were distributed, and Keynsham Parkway where a combined 117,000 were sold in ticket offices.
Alongside Mr Norris’ submission to passenger body Transport Focus during the consultation, it was revealed today that another 2,245 formal objections were made by West of England residents. Mr Norris continued: “Every proposal to modernise our railways needs passengers at its heart. We must do everything possible to encourage more people onto trains here in the West, and across the country. Never again should Ministers support a plan to put barriers in the way to make that job harder.” Mayor Norris had raised his opposition to the Government’s plans with ministers, including in person with the Rail Minister during the summer, and met campaigners against the proposals.