Department for Transport News

31 Oct 2023

Transport Secretary responds to Passenger Bodies on Ticket Office Consultation

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

“The consultation on ticket offices has now ended, with the Government making clear to the rail industry throughout the process that any resulting proposals must meet a high threshold of serving passengers.

“We have engaged with accessibility groups throughout this process and listened carefully to passengers as well as my colleagues in Parliament. The proposals that have resulted from this process do not meet the high thresholds set by Ministers, and so the Government has asked train operators to withdraw their proposals.

“We will continue our work to reform our railways with the expansion of contactless Pay As You Go ticketing, making stations more accessible through our Access for All programme and £350 million funding through our Network North plan to improve accessibility at up to 100 stations.”


  • Rail Minister Huw Merriman met with accessibility groups on two separate occasions throughout the course of the consultation.
  • We now expect train operators to withdraw these proposals. We do not expect any proposals to be referred to the Secretary of State for a decision.
  • We are aiming to consult on a draft National Rail Accessibility Strategy next year. 
  • Earlier this year Government announced £20 million to extend Pay As You Go ticketing to a further 53 stations in the South East by the end of the year. The department is continuing its work with the Great British Railways transition team to agree Pay As You Go pilots in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands as part of Trailblazer devolution deals announced earlier this year.
  • As part of the Network North plan, we have set aside a further £350 million for up to 100 stations to improve accessibility. Stations will be able to benefit from refitted lifts, tactile surfaces, ramps and footbridges, new ticket gates and accessible waiting rooms and toilets.
  • We will also share an additional £100 million between the North and Midlands to support the development and rollout of London-style contactless and smart ticketing, supporting seamless travel by enabling contactless or smartcard payment.

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