Rail bosses should pledge not to close any ticket offices in East Anglia, says Norwich MP Clive Lewis

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Rail bosses should pledge not to shut any of its East Anglian ticket offices, according to a Norfolk MP.

Rail union RMT claimed Greater Anglia wants to close all but seven of its ticket offices - relying on customers to buy their fares online or from ticket machines.

The rail operator has denied it wants to shut the bulk of its offices, but it is considering closing seven of its little-used ticket offices.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis has tabled an early day parliamentary motion inviting fellow MPs to back his call for the rail operator to give assurances it will not close ticket offices for the duration of its franchise and to express concern over the union's warning that all but seven could shut by the end of the franchise.

The Labour MP's motion also says the House is 'further concerned that ticket office closures will result in a worse, less accessible service, higher ticket prices, more dangerous stations and non-availability of tickets when ticket machines break down.'

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The union had said its officials had been told the number of stations with ticket offices would be shut from 64 to seven - those at London Liverpool Street, Colchester, Norwich, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Stansted Airport.

Eleven MPs have added their names to Mr Lewis's motion.

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RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: 'We welcome this support from MPs for the campaign to keep ticket offices open on Greater Anglia.

'If the company have nothing to hide they should now give a categorical assurance that they will not be closing ticket offices while they are in charge of the franchise.'

But the rail operator said it was consulting over seven ticket offices, although it said there were no 'current proposals' to close other ticket offices.

A spokeswoman said: 'We have no plans to reduce the number of Greater Anglia ticket offices to seven.

'However, we are currently reviewing responses to a public consultation about proposals to close seven little-used ticket offices.

'There are no current proposals to close any other ticket offices.

'We will continue to consult with our colleagues and the trades unions on any proposed changes to ticket office arrangements.'

The offices under consideration for closure are Walton, Thorpe-le-Soken, Alresford, Dovercourt, Great Bentley, Harwich International and Great Chesterford.

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