Today, I've urged rail bosses to backtrack on proposals that would see the town’s railway ticket office axed. In a letter to train operator Greater Anglia, I've suggested enhanced facilities at the station that would combine a visitor and tourist information hub alongside the provision of support for rail enquiries and ticketing, as an alternative to closure.
Many residents have contacted me alarmed at the proposals that would see our station ticket office close. I share their concerns, particularly as the station is an important gateway to the town for visitors and a departure point for tourists heading home.
In response to the public consultation, I've also highlighted the disproportionate impact any closure would have on visually impaired, elderly, and disabled travellers. And noted that there are many train users that do not have access to online ticketing services or feel uncomfortable using technology. To highlight concerns about any closure would have on visitors, I've submitted a Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State asking what assessment he has made, with Cabinet colleagues, of office closures on the tourism sector here in Great Yarmouth and in other coastal towns.
Rail bosses need to consider all these factors. This is not a done deal! There is no need for a one-size-fits-all approach to changes across the railway network. As part of the consultation process, we can work together to make sure we get the right outcome for Great Yarmouth. There is a genuine opportunity to create a travel hub, to provide travel and visitor information, whilst continuing to provide support to travellers who need it most.