Wigan's railway station ticket offices to remain open as national closure plans axed

The planned widespread closure of railway station ticket offices in England – including three in Wigan borough – has been scrapped.
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Transport Secretary Mark Harper said the Government has asked train operators to withdraw their proposals.

This is in response to watchdogs Transport Focus and London TravelWatch announcing they opposed every single planned closure due to issues such as the impact on accessibility.

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Wigan North Western railway stationWigan North Western railway station
Wigan North Western railway station
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Mr Harper said: “The consultation on ticket offices has now ended, with the Government making clear to the rail industry throughout the process that any resulting proposals must meet a high threshold of serving passengers.

“We have engaged with accessibility groups throughout this process and listened carefully to passengers as well as my colleagues in Parliament.

“The proposals that have resulted from this process do not meet the high thresholds set by ministers, and so the Government has asked train operators to withdraw their proposals.”

Plans to close the vast majority of station ticket offices in England, plus Avanti West Coast’s ticket office at Glasgow Central, were brought forward by train operators and their representative body, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

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Among those that would have lost their ticket offices were Wigan North Western, Atherton and Hindley railway stations.

Th proposals followed pressure from the Government to cut costs amid the drop in revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A train operator source told the PA news agency: “There is quiet fury in the rail industry about where we’ve got to.

“The plan was signed off by civil servants and ministers. They’ve U-turned.”

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