Office closure is not the ticket

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THE city’s MPs have defended the decision to reduce ticket offices at two train stations.

Lib Dem Transport Minister, Norman Baker MP, announced the news in a Written Statement to Parliament.

Labour has been campaigning to keep the offices open and is concerned toilets and other facilities could be closed.

London Midland now has permission to cut the opening hours at Wolverton from 6am to 1pm to 6.15am to 11am instead. Bletchley station will see the ticket office shut at 9pm on Monday and 8pm Tuesday to Friday.

MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, said: “More are choosing to buy their tickets online or at ticket vending machines, although ticket offices will still be open at the main times people travel.

“I will, however, be seeking assurances from London Midland that essential station services such as toilet facilities and assistance to disabled passengers will still be available.”

MP for Milton Keynes North, Mark Lancaster, said: “In their usual haste to criticise, Labour are clearly blissfully unaware of the current discussions between London Midland and community groups in Wolverton to provide both a cafe and improved opening hours for the station, a potential win, win for commuters, local residents and London Midland alike.”

Andrew Pakes, Labour & Co-operative Parliamentary spokesman for Milton Keynes said: “Although the cut to ticket office times is not as bad as feared in Bletchley, this is still not good news for the town.

“Thousands of people rely on our local stations to get to work and visit friends and families.

“Yet despite rail fares rocketing we now face the prospect of ‘closed’ signs at stations.”