AN MP has demanded assurances rail passengers wanting to pay cash will still be able to under plans to close many ticket offices.
Shipley MP Philip Davies – who opposes closing the offices - said people have a right to chose how they pay for and book their tickets.
Speaking in Parliament he called for answers as to how the needs of the estimated 10 per cent of travellers who still choose to use ticket offices rather than book online or use a ticketing machine would be met.
Mr Davies said: “Ten per cent of ticket sales is still an awful lot of ticket sales. In this process, I hope that people who choose or need to buy their tickets from a ticket office will not suffer from the tyranny of the majority who choose not to, and that their interests will be properly protected throughout.
“Will the Minister assure me that those people who want to pay for their tickets using cash will still be able to do so? To me, banning people from using cash to buy tickets would be completely unacceptable.”
Transport minister Huw Merriman said: “That process is available to anybody who wishes to pay cash. For example, if my hon. Friend (Philip) looks at the Northern Trains website, he will see that there is a whole feature explaining how cash can still be used.
“The machines should take cash. In the event that they do not, there is a process for passengers to purchase a ticket on the train without fear of a penalty. So yes, cash can still be used in the machines.”
Earlier this week train company representative, the Rail Delivery Group announced plans to close nearly all ticket offices, with only the busiest stations keeping person-operated ticket facilities. Instead, it is claimed staff will be moved to platforms in “new and engaging” roles.