The Shakespeare Line Rail User Group has written to the consultation concerning the closure of railway station ticket offices. All ticket offices proposed for closure in the Midlands, including Birmingham New Street. We believe the proposals are discriminatory to a range of passengers that use the train; the proposals are ill-conceived as the current complexities with rail fares remain unaddressed, and automatic ticket machines do not offer an adequate and reliable alternative.
Locally, the proposals will be a significant blow to people using the train at Stratford upon Avon, which is a major international and national visitor attraction and destination. Visitors’ needs at a station such as Stratford upon Avon are significant. Often, they need onward travel information, and as the station is a terminus these days, journeys start and end at Stratford upon Avon, especially for those new to the area or from overseas.
More generally, we question the economics of the proposals, which have the potential to lead to a net loss of up to £575 million. We also believe that the proposals undermine the Great British Railways concept’s aim, which seeks to put the customer first by providing a great customer experience for passengers when using the railway.
You can read our detailed response in the members’ section of the website.