I have written to the Minister of State for Rail and HS2 to highlight my concerns about the ongoing consultation regarding the nationwide closure of ticket offices, including the one located in Meadowhall station. You can read my letter below and find a plain text version at the bottom of the page.
The ticket office at Meadowhall Station is vital for so many of my constituents, and I am writing to express my anger and dismay at its potential closure in the strongest possible terms.
From the amount of correspondence I have received it is clear that the Government and rail operators have failed to appreciate the importance of the service provided by ticket offices and their staff.
Ticket vending machines are simply unable to offer the advice, knowledge, and support that staff do. Disabled, elderly, and vulnerable passengers already face many barriers in accessing public services and will be particularly affected by these senseless changes.
A report by the Royal National Institute of Blind People found that only 3% of blind people are able to use ticket vending machines without issues, yet I have yet to see confirmation that any impact assessments have been conducted with regard to accessibility concerns.
While I am pleased that the consultation period has been extended, this is simply recognition that the entire process has been flawed from the start. I urge you to listen to the concerns of my constituents and the hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country who will be negatively impacted by these changes.