The leaders of the two groups on Hull City Council have written to the Secretary of State for Transport regarding the potential closure of the rail ticket office in Hull.
With the government and rail companies proposing to close almost 1,000 railway station ticket offices across the country, the letter, to Mark Harper MP, Secretary of State for Transport and Graham Meiklejohn, Managing Director of TransPennine Express, outlines their substantial concern over the proposal.
The letter follows a full Council meeting in July, where a unanimous motion was passed to provide a cross-party response from all Hull and East Riding MPs to oppose the proposals and seek an alternative way forward.
Particular concern lies around the proposed closure of the Hull Paragon Station ticket office, and surrounding areas, such as Cottingham, Brough and Beverley, Bridlington, Goole and Driffield, as these ticket closures would have a significant impact on their respective areas and the city of Hull.
Other concerns include:
- The discriminatory impact the closures will have on vulnerable groups of rail users, including the elderly, those with sight loss or learning difficulties, including its detrimental affect on the numbers of staff available to support such passengers;
- Concerns around the future use of ticket office buildings, and the impact this would have on developing and promoting the local areas and the use of rail travel;
- The potential for the closures to lead to increasing levels of anti-social behavior; and,
- The fact that the proposed closures would represent a substantial retrograde step in the councils shared local and national obligations of reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change.
The Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Mike Ross, said: “The closure of these rail ticket offices would have a significant impact on communities here in Hull. This is one of the reasons why the Council unanimously objects to the plans in the strongest possible terms.
“Ticket offices provide a vital service to residents in Hull – and surrounding areas – by providing a clearly sign-posted place in the station for people to buy tickets and to obtain assistance with enquiries. This gives essential certainty and confidence for customers who may struggle to otherwise locate station staff.
“We believe that the closure of this ticket office will discriminate against older and more vulnerable residents, and we will do all we can to prevent this proposal from coming into fruition.”
Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor Daren Hale, said: “Our public transport networks are a lifeline for some of our residents and these proposed closures would have a detrimental impact on them, making it even harder for some people to travel across the country, and in some cases impossible.
“Rail users in Hull will miss out on getting the best deals on travel because a ticket machine cannot tell you what is best for you when you are booking a journey.
“It’s important that the government and rail companies hear how this may impact local residents, so I urge local people to voice their views on these proposals by completing the public consultation by Friday 1 September 2023.”
To share your views on the proposed closures, visit TransPennine Express.