MP to lead Parliamentary debate on rail ticket office closures in Cumbria

12 Oct 2023

Next Wednesday, local MP Tim Farron will lead a Westminster Hall debate on the impact of staffing changes on railway stations in Cumbria.

It comes in response to controversial plans to close rail ticket offices and significantly reduce the hours that stations are staffed.

The proposals, put forward by train operating companies, include:

  • Ulverston station, where mobility scooter users and people in wheelchairs are dependent on staff to assist them across the tracks to access Platform 3, will be staffed for just two hours a day and not at all on Sundays.
  • Grange-over-Sands stations, situated in a town with a largely elderly population, will be staffed for just two hours a day and not at all on Sundays.
  • Appleby station, with direct connections to Leeds, Carlisle and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, will be staffed for just two hours a day and not at all on Sundays.
  • Windermere station, home to one of Britain’s biggest visitor destinations, will be staffed for just three and a half hours a day and not at all on Sundays.
  • Oxenholme station, with connections to London, Scotland, Manchester Airport and the Lake District, will be staffed for 10.5 fewer hours a week than currently.

Last month, Tim presented a petition in the House of Commons on behalf of over 3,000 local residents calling on the Government to axe plans to close rail ticket offices.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Tim said: “I’m delighted to have secured a debate in Parliament on this absolutely vital issue.

“Let’s be very clear, the proposals on the table from train companies will see our local stations like Appleby, Windermere, Ulverston and Grange effectively become destaffed.

“In the past few weeks I’ve spoken to many people who are disabled or elderly who rely on there being a member of staff on the station to help them travel.

“I look forward to making the case directly to the Rail Minister for him to reject these appalling plans.”