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Your campaigning makes an impact in parliament debate on railway ticket office closures

The impact of the proposed closures on blind and partially sighted people was cited multiple times on Wednesday during a lively debate in parliament.

Richard Foord MP, Anne Marie Morris MP, Margaret Greenwood MP, Mick Whitley MP, Marian Fellows MP, Helen Hayes MP and the Shadow Minister for Rail Stephen Morgan all spoke up about why people with sight loss need ticket offices to remain open, and referenced RNIB’s research that only 3% of people with sight loss say they can use ticket machines.

This would not happen without your campaigning efforts on this very important issue. To the 1,856 of you who took the time to email your local MP about the ticket office closures, your voices have been heard.

All of your consultation responses, along with this other activity, will highlight just how vital ticket offices are to blind and partially sighted people, and it’s also evident that many MPs share your concerns.

Cate Vallis, Interim Campaigns and Public Affairs Manager at RNIB, said: “Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our campaign so far. MPs from across the house shared the emails you wrote to them in the debate, referencing RNIB statistics and the real impact closing ticket offices would have on blind and partially sighted people. This is testament to the impact focused actions from campaigners can make in parliament. RNIB will build on this work to try to persuade the Secretary of State for Transport and the Rail Minister to halt these damaging proposals.”

Over 680,000 responses were submitted to the consultation, which closed on Friday 1 September. The two passenger watchdogs overseeing the consultation, London TravelWatch and Transport Focus, which received consultation responses on behalf of each of the train companies, have until the end of October to review the responses and report back to the operators. The deadline was originally 8 October, however it was extended due to the amount of responses to the consultation, which again demonstrates the impact that campaigners have had.

You can read a full round up of who said what during the parliament debate, along with video clips, over on the RNIB Twitter account.

Thank you for your incredible support!