Keynsham train station ticket office saved

PLANS to shut railway ticket offices at Keynsham and throughout the country have been scrapped.

The government said it had asked train operators to withdraw their proposals because they failed to meet “high passenger standards”.

Labour Metro Mayor Dan Norris, a long-term opponent of the plans, said he was delighted and relieved at the news.

He said: “This is a huge victory for West of England passengers, who delivered their message loud and clear that closing all our ticket offices is unacceptable.”

Alongside Mr Norris’ submission to passenger body Transport Focus during a public consultation, it was revealed that another 2,245 formal objections were made by West of England residents.

Mr Norris said: “Every proposal to modernise our railways needs passengers at its heart. We must do everything possible to encourage more people onto trains here in the West, and across the country.

“Never again should ministers support a plan to put barriers in the way to make that job harder.”

Other ticket offices spared the axe include Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Bristol Parkway, Filton Abbey Wood, Oldfield Park and Yate. Together with Keynsham, they sold a combined 600,000 paper tickets last year.

The closure plans sparked an outcry from political leaders, disability campaigners and passengers.

But rail bosses said an increasing number of people were buying their tickets online and that closing the ticket offices would free up rail staff to help passengers with a wide range of issues.

Keynsham’s ticket booth is open 6.45am to 9.30am, Monday to Friday.