Have your say on Ticket Office Closures at Bolton Train Stations
Published on 07 July 2023 01:59 PM
Rail providers Northern have announced a sweeping set of changes regarding ticket offices in station on its lines. The changes will result in the ticket offices at all Bolton train stations, other than the main town centre station, being permanently closed. The one remaining ticket office at Bolton’s main train station will also see reduced opening hours.
These closures will undoubtedly have a negative impact on older travellers who may not be confident using automated ticketing machines, or apps to buy their tickets.
Before implementing the changes, Northern will be holding a short public consultation where they are inviting feedback on the plans via email.
The plans have caused outcry from many across the north where stations will be losing ticket offices with claims that taking ticket office staff away will be bad news for those with mobility issues, older people and people who are not well versed in the technology to use ticketing machines and apps.
Speaking about both the plans and the public consultation Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, claimed that the closure plans may be “illegal” due to the lack of a provisional equality impact assessment. "The provisional advice I've got is that the train operators, one of them in particular, should have done, again, a provisional equality impact assessment," he said.
"Particularly for the impact on older people or disabled people who will probably be the most impacted by this decision. They didn't do it,” adding that the public consultation was “wholly inadequate”.
Age UK Bolton Communications Officer James Bailey said “This is something that will have an effect on the way older people use trains and, as we have seen with reports in the local press about technological changes in the way people pay for parking, many older people feel they are being left behind and excluded with travel continually becoming less accessible. At Age UK Bolton we are all too aware of the effects that social exclusion and isolation can have both physical and mental health impact of older people. This could be seen as another barrier put in the way of older people being social, and could also negatively affect local economies if people cannot travel easily. I would encourage any older people in the area to get involved in the consultation and make sure that Northern hear your views on these changes.”
To find out more about the plans visit https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/consultation-2023
To have your say email: ticketoffice.Northern@transportfocus.org.uk
Alternatively, get in touch with us at Age UK Bolton and we will be submitting a response as part of the consultation on behalf of local older people. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into the square to leave your feedback.