Diss train station visited by Green Party co-leader as objection made to ticket office closures
A Green Party parliamentary candidate and the party’s co-leader, is visiting Diss train station today to make clear his objection to the closure of ticket offices across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Adrian Ramsay, candidate for the new Waveney Valley constituency, is staunchly against the closures, which will impact Diss train station, along with Stowmarket.
Mr Ramsay said: “Diss and Stowmarket stations are vital transport hubs for thousands who live in the Waveney Valley constituency and the ticket office staff there are often the only source of advice for people trying to navigate the ticketing system.
“Having a human presence at the ticket office is particularly vital for disabled and elderly passengers.
“Also the different, fragmented, privatised train operating companies have made ticketing so complicated that you often find it is only a human being, employed to sell tickets, that can best advise you of the cheapest route.
“The train operating companies argue that staff will be redeployed helping on platforms, but it is hard not to see this as anything but a way to cut staff costs long term.
“This is all part and parcel of the frittering away of local services in rural areas that has gone on for years. Rural bus routes, for example, a lifeline for many disabled and elderly who are unable to drive, have been cut to ribbons in Norfolk and Suffolk over the years.
“If the Government wants to save money on the subsidies it gives to private train operating companies, it should do what the Green Party has long proposed, return the franchises to public control when they expire so that money spent on trains goes back into trains – and ticket offices - not into the pockets of remote shareholders.”
The Rail Delivery Group, organising the consultation on the controversial ticket office closure plan, said on Wednesday July 26 that it would be extended to September 1.