Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore is urging residents and commuters to take part in the public consultation on proposed railway station ticket office closures in the two towns before this week's deadline.
The public consultation runs until this Friday (1st September) and comments can be made online via the Transport Focus website.
Mr Moore says he wants to see the community “send a strong message to Northern that these closures are not in the best interest of our community”, and has sent a joint letter to Nick Donovan, Managing Director at Northern and the Secretary of State for Transport Rt. Hon Mark Harper MP outlining his opposition to the proposed closures.
Speaking in the House of Commons when the announcement was made earlier this summer, Robbie Moore told the Rail Minister Huw Merriman MP that he was “yet to be convinced that these changes will have a positive impact on disabled passengers, elderly passengers or those with accessibility issues." He pointed to recent statistics which show that more than 1 in 6 passengers in Keighley and Ilkley use ticket offices to purchase tickets, well above the national average.
Transport Focus will assess the consultation responses during a 35 day period, working with train operators, and if an agreement cannot be reached regarding closures, the issue will then go directly to the Secretary of State for Transport.
Residents can participate in the consultation process and submit their objections to Northern's plans before the deadline of Friday 1st September by emailing TicketOffice.Northern@transportfocus.org.uk or visiting transportfocus.org.uk/ticket-office-consultation/
Objections can also be sent by post to RTEH-XAGE-BYKZ, Transport Focus, PO Box 5594, Southend on Sea, SS1 9PZ, by 1st September.
Robbie Moore MP said: “Closing our ticket offices at Keighley and Ilkley Train Stations will erode a vital service provision and have a severe negative impact on those in our community who rely on their service to get around, including disabled passengers, elderly passengers, or those with accessibility issues. I have written to the Managing Director of Northern and our Transport Secretary to outline my deep objections to these closure plans, as well as previously raising my concerns in the House of Commons Chamber directly with the Rail Minister.
"As we near the consultation deadline, I urge all residents who haven't yet submitted their responses to do so before the closing date of the 1st September. Every voice matters, and by expressing our collective opposition, we can send a strong message to Northern that these closures are not in the best interest of our community.”