Local residents will be aware that train companies across England published proposals for the future of ticket offices in our area. Today, those plans have been scrapped.
The proposal was that ALL local stations in Worthing and Arun parts of the constituency (Worthing, Worthing West, Durrington, Goring-by-Sea and Angmering) would see their face-to-face counters closed and future ticket purchases being made through train operators' apps, websites or at the self-service machines at stations.
I immediately wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper MP, raising serious concern as to whether the proposed closures would leave constituents across Worthing and Arun with the level of service these stations need.
In the month of May, 18,000 tickets were bought at the ticket office and 66% of travellers used traditional train tickets. It is clear that both occasional and regular rail users relied on ticket offices.
Surely we should be making it as easy as possible for everyone to use green public transport options, including trains and tubes, as part of our ambitions to promote environmentally friendly means of travel?
The update today is that the planned widespread closures of railway station ticket offices in England have been scrapped.
I'm grateful to rail travellers and other constituents who responded to the consultation about the redeployment of rail station staff.
Together, we made the argument that knowledgeable, professional and friendly ticket office staff are valued and valuable.
We can together welcome the Government's decision not to let operating companies close all the ticket offices. Concerns were heard, our voices and views matter.
This decision is a relief. This is a victory for commuters, for families and for the occasional rail users.