Kirith Entwistle Slams Conservative Ministers for Weakness and Negligence in Hasty Ticket Office Closures

Kirith Entwistle, the Parliamentary Candidate for Bolton North East, has vehemently condemned Conservative ministers for their rushed decision to abruptly close the ticket offices at Bromley Cross and Farnworth stations. This sudden closure, scheduled to take effect within the next few weeks, will force rail users to rely solely on ticket machines, completely disregarding the adverse impact on vulnerable passengers who heavily rely on the presence of staff.

Entwistle is demanding an immediate halt to this decision and a comprehensive consultation process. She emphasises the need for the consultation to prioritise the welfare of vulnerable passengers and safeguard the jobs of rail workers, rather than serving the profits of private rail companies.

“The Conservative ministers have demonstrated sheer weakness and a complete lack of responsibility in their rushed decision to close the ticket offices at Bromley Cross and Farnworth stations,” said Kirith Entwistle.

“This decision ignores the significant impact it will have on vulnerable rail users across Bolton, who heavily depend on the presence of staff. We must halt this decision and ensure that a full consultation takes place, with the well-being of vulnerable passengers and the preservation of rail workers’ jobs at the forefront, rather than prioritising the profits of private rail companies.”

Entwistle’s concerns echo the sentiments expressed by Louise Haigh MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, regarding the Rail Delivery Group’s proposals for railway station ticket office closures in England. Haigh sharply criticised Conservative ministers for evading scrutiny and failing to address the legitimate concerns raised by vulnerable passengers.

She stressed the need for transparency and accountability, urging the Conservatives to provide passengers with the answers they deserve.

“Despite the concerns of vulnerable passengers, Conservative ministers are ducking and diving from scrutiny. They refuse to say how many stations have alternatives to ticket offices, what the impact will be on jobs, or how it will hit vulnerable rail users. The Conservatives should come clean and give passengers the answers they deserve. Railroading this decision in just three weeks, without proper consideration for staff and vulnerable passengers, only risks exacerbating the managed decline of the rail network,” commented Louise Haigh MP.

Entwistle, together with concerned residents and rail user groups, is determined to ensure that the voices of vulnerable passengers are heard and that their needs are taken into account before any final decisions are made. By demanding a thorough consultation process that prioritises passenger well-being and safeguards the livelihoods of rail workers, Entwistle aims to prevent the hasty closure of ticket offices and mitigate any adverse impact on the Bolton community.

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