Mid Devon celebrates the scrapping of the Government plan to close rail ticket offices

31 Oct 2023
Richard Foord MP outside Honiton station

Mid Devon Liberal Democrats are delighted they have played a part in the Government's U-Turn following the news that our local railway ticket offices will remain open. The proposed closure would have affected Tiverton Parkway and Exeter St David’s.

Scrapping the plan to close rail ticket offices is great news”, says Mid Devon District Council Leader, Councillor Luke Taylor. “Our August Cabinet decision to lobby the Government and write to rail chiefs has worked. This, along with the online petition led by Tiverton & Honiton MP, Richard Foord, has resulted in our local voices being heard.”

Passengers can be confident they can get the right help at the right time”, commented Councillor Steven Keable, Mid Devon Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration and Metro Board member for the planned Cullompton Station. “With the promised investment into railways, access is important for all especially those with disabilities, our older people, and those who don’t have smart phones to book tickets and plan travel."

MP for Tiverton & Honiton Richard Foord was a prominent advocate against the closure of railway station ticket offices and led calls in Parliament to stop the plans. In response to this critical issue, constituents have been in touch with Richard Foord MP to describe how they would be impacted by the proposal to close the ticket offices.

Commenting, Richard Foord MP said: “The scrapping of plans to close our local ticket offices is welcome news. We know how helpful they are to elderly and vulnerable passengers, and the huge benefit that ticket office staff offer rail users.

"The question is - why did it take the Government so long to act? The damage that these changes would have caused was visible from space. The public backlash showed a strength of feeling that makes it plain this decision should have been made ages ago.

"Ministers at the Department for Transport chose to sit on their haunches for months until we campaigners forced them go into reverse. This is a big win for our corner of Devon and everyone who uses our railways."

“The online petition to support our MP has resulted in the fastest turnaround ever”, said Liberal Democrat Tiverton & Honiton Constituency Chair, David Wulff.

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