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In the News

Rail ticket office closure U-Turn

Mike McCartney

2nd November 2023

A good example of success by pressure groups

This week it was announced that the government had decided, after a long period of consultation, to not go ahead with the closure of ticket offices at train stations throughout England

Background on this story is here in a short video from Channel 4 News.

This is seen as a victory for disability tights campaigners and trade unions representing rail staff.

For example, the most high profile rail union, the RMT has been involved in a battle with government and the train companies over this issue. See here, for example. This the RMT leader declared victory for the union in response to the government announcement. According to a press release:

“We are now calling for an urgent summit with the government, train operating companies, disabled and community organisations and passenger groups to agree a different route for the rail network that guarantees the future of our ticket offices and stations staff jobs to delivers a safe, secure and accessible service that puts passengers before profit,” he said.

Groups representing disabled passengers have also been battling against what many saw as a fait accompli with regards to shutting ticket offices.

Therefore, this is a good example where outsider/promotional groups have achieved success via clever campaigning in order to secure one of their goals. Principally we can attribute this positive outcome for campaigners to the savvy use of the media by Mick Lynch, who has been able to generate a great deal of popular support.

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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