Picture of Rachel Hopkins MP
Picture of Rachel Hopkins MP's Luton News article

Last week the government announced the proposed closure of over 1,000 railway station ticket offices across the country, including at all three stations in Luton, and replace them with mobile teams of ‘multifunctional’ staff who provide assistance. Myself and Sarah Owen MP for Luton North, are both opposed to these proposals and are dismayed that the public consultation period is only for three weeks.  

Those who regularly use Luton Station, as I do myself, will know the ticket office regularly has long queues of people waiting to purchase tickets and to seek travel advice. The ticket office is one of the most vital accessibility features of this station. Luton passengers and staff are deeply concerned about the impact this proposal will have on the ability to buy tickets, accessibility, passenger safety, and the job security of staff. 

Closing Luton Station ticket office will force passengers to purchase tickets through online booking or at Ticket Vending Machines. Many elderly and disabled people cannot book their travel online. 

There are reports of Ticket Vending Machines (TVMS) not accepting cash and TVMs also pose functionality barriers to disabled passengers, including those with visual impairments. Some concessions and ticket types are also not available from certain TVMs.  

Expanding low-carbon public transport is critical to meeting our net-zero commitments. 

We need to encourage people to use our railways, which is why I have campaigned for investment in Luton Station to ensure it is fit for the 21st Century, including for lift access to all platforms, which is due to be delivered in 2024 under the Access for All scheme.  

By proposing to close Luton Station’s ticket office, the Government is once again ignoring the needs of our station, allowing it to further decline and undermining the service Luton passengers receive.  

We must not let the Conservative Government oversee the managed decline of our railways. 

Join me in campaigning to save Luton Station’s ticket office by signing my petition and responding to the public consultation (by 26 July). You can find my petition and a draft response to the consultation here.

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