Peterborough's Metro mayor backs extension to consultation as ticket offices in region face closure

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Dr Nik Johnson is taking legal action to try and prevent nationwide ticket office closures.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s Mayor Dr Nik Johnson has backed the decision to extend the three-week consultation into closing up to 1000 railway station ticket offices across the country to be extended.

He has, however, insisted that more should be done to make the consultation as accessible as possible.

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It has now been announced that consultation into plans from train operators to close the majority of rail ticket offices across the country has been extended until September 1, with concerns that the elderly and the disabled will be the ones worse hit by the plans.

Dr Nik Johnson.Dr Nik Johnson.
Dr Nik Johnson.

LNER has already confirmed that the Peterborough office will remain open but a number of the surrounding stations was in danger of seeing their ticket offices closed.

These include March, Stamford, Spalding and Oakham.

The Rail Delivery Group has said that ticket staff will be moved into other areas of the station in attempt to modernise the service.

Mayor Johnson is part of a group of five metro mayors that are taking legal action to try over what the group has described as “rushed” closures.

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He has joined forced with mayors for West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Liverpool and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Dr Johnson said: “I welcome the decision from the Rail Delivery Group to extend the consultation period by almost six weeks. However, I still believe they need to go further and re-double their efforts to ensure the consultation is as accessible as possible.

“Following yesterday’s announcement, we are seeking advice on the options available to us and discussions with other Mayors about potential next steps are ongoing.

“I will continue to do everything in my power to champion’s people’s rights to make sure their voice is heard; this fight is far from over.

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“At the end of the day, this is about action not words. While I welcome the initial action taken yesterday, I am calling on the Rail Delivery Group to go further and act today to allow for meaningful participation from all those who could be impacted by these plans.”