ESVS has been taking part in the campaign to keep railway ticketing offices open. During 2023 we have taken part in both TV and radio interviews, explaining how the closure of ticketing offices will affect the ability of Vision Impaired people to access and travel on the railways.
The rail companies and Government want to save money. An extra £175 million is being spent to support the rail companies. Removing the ticket offices from the smaller rail stations is one part of saving money, but at the expense of Vision Impaired People being able to buy tickets easily.
We are told that there will be staff available on the platforms to help with ticketing issues. As many stations have barriers that need a ticket to get onto the platform, where will these ticketing advisors be? For many Vision Impaired People, buying tickets on-line is not an option, nor is using the ticket machines, which are totally inaccessible for someone with a Vision Impairment. At the moment people can speak to the person in the ticket office and not only buy their ticket, but also get the best information as to which ticket will be correct for them.
As part of the consultation, the opening times for local ticket offices was made available and it would have been wonderful if the ticket offices were actually open during the hours stated. If this information is no longer true, how can we believe the proposed hours that the ticketing advisors will be available for?