Trafford Labour councillors are leading calls to halt plans that could see the closure of the rail ticket offices across the borough.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has changed guidance relating to opening hours and following discussions with train operators has announced plans to close 1,000 ticket offices three of which include, Flixton, Hale and Urmston.
It is understood train companies across England will begin passenger consultations in relation to the ticket office closures.
Meanwhile, local councillors have expressed outrage over the move, fearing it could lead to job losses and could neglect some vulnerable passengers.
Losing ticket offices in Trafford would have damaging consequences for elderly and disabled residents given that unattended stations will undoubtedly trigger safety concerns, argued Cllrs Simon Thomas and Kevin Procter.
Cllr Thomas, who represents Flixton ward, labelled the closures a disgrace and called for an immediate rethink to the plans.
He added: “Once again we see the borough’s most vulnerable residents hit with further cuts that will ultimately impact them the most.
“People rely heavily on manned ticket offices for various reasons such as, safety, accessibility, and support with travel arrangements.
“This is a further blow to those who depend on railway staff for help and support.
Cllr Procter, who represents Urmston, echoed his colleagues concerns and pointed out the ‘serious risk to jobs’ as another reason to abolish the plans.
He added: “Closing ticket offices that Trafford residents rely on is nothing short of scandalous.
“It is always those most disadvantaged who bear the brunt of decisions made hundreds of miles away in Whitehall with little or no thought given to local residents.
“The potential of hundreds of job losses would be catastrophic given that most people are already struggling to cope due to the cost of living crises.
“I’m also calling for a rethink of the plans as matter of urgency.”
Last week, Industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) unveiled proposals which could result in nearly all offices in England shutting their doors.
It’s part of a move to ‘modernise customer service’ while the industry faces increased pressure from the government to save money following dips in revenue caused by the Covid pandemic.
To support the call to, Save our Ticket Offices, click here: SAVE OUR TICKET OFFICES (google.com)