RAIL USERS in Redditch will now have until September 1 to have their say on proposals to close ticket offices after the consultation was extended.
The proposals would see the ticket office at Redditch station be among those to close.
The consultation on the proposed reforms was due to run until today (July 26).
Under the plans, all ticket offices in their current form would close over the next three years, apart from several ‘hub stations’, such as Worcester Foregate Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Sutton Coldfield, University and Wolverhampton.
Independent watchdog Transport Focus and London TravelWatch have received more than 170,000 comments on the proposals so far.
The plans have faced backlash from some residents as well as Bromsgrove and Redditch Rail User Group (BARRUP).
Robert Cholmondeley, chairman of BARRUP, said: “We oppose the closures.
“Without smart devices, there will be no way to plan a return rail journey.
“The lack of information at stations has been exacerbated because West Midlands Rail has still not restored printed timetables post-Covid.
“It’s an appalling state of affairs for a public service.”
Plans would see staff fill ambassador roles, give advice about rail fares and support customers with accessibility needs.
West Midlands Railway said there would be a ‘visible and accessible staff presence’ on ticket concourses and platforms during staff hours.
The firm added just 12 per cent of all tickets were currently sold at offices, compared to 82 per cent in the 1990s and around half of all sales nationally were now made online.
Transport Focus’s chief executive Anthony Smith said: “Feedback is currently being logged and reviewed alongside individual train operator proposals.
“It is important that a diverse range of views from all parts of the community are heard in this consultation.
“New comments received will be read, considered and used in discussions with train companies in the coming weeks.”
Visit transportfocus.org.uk/ticketoffices to take part in the consultation.