Controversial plans to close almost all ticket offices at English railway stations, including the ones across the Beckenham and Penge constituency, have been scrapped after the Government ordered train companies to keep them open.
Conservative Transport Secretary Mark Harper said the Government had asked train operators to withdraw their proposals because they did not meet high passenger standards. This followed a consultation held over the summer, when many local Councillors and the MP objected to the plans.
In Shortlands, local residents launched a petition, supported by the three Conservative Councillors against the closure and Councillor Felicity Bainbridge objected on behalf of all three Councillors. Shortlands station is often a hub within the community, with Halloween, and Christmas events and displays organised by the very popular and helpful ticket office staff all to raise money for charity.
The Councillors expressed strong concerns that passengers, particularly disabled travellers, would be disadvantaged when making rail journeys if the ticket offices were to be removed. In addition, ticket office staff provide passengers with valuable information about rail services, journey times and ticket prices.
Shortlands and Park Langley Councillor, Felicity Bainbridge, said:
"This is great news - not just for commuters from Shortlands and Ravensbourne but for rail users across the entire network. Ticket offices provide a key support hub for the elderly, vulnerable and disabled passengers. They play a vital role in providing both information and practical assistance to rail passengers and it is important that they stay open.”