A decision to scrap a proposal to close ticket offices at nearly 1,000 stations across the country has been welcomed by a stalwart disability rights campaigner.
Sue Groves, who has fought tirelessly to quash the cost-cutting exercise mooted by train operators, said: “People power has won.”
She added: “They did not have a choice. The government could not afford the huge backlash it would have caused.”
The 59-year-old Chatham mum joined nationwide pressure groups to protest against the idea on equality grounds saying it discriminated against elderly people, blind or partially-sighted and the disabled.
Transport Minister Mark Harper this morning told train operators, including Southeastern and Thameslink, of his decision.
Consultations have been taking place in England to gauge public opinion to deploy office staff to support roles on platforms.
Mrs Groves said: “It would have been disastrous for partially-sighted or blind passengers and for those in wheelchairs who may not be able to access ticket machines. And not everyone has a smartphone.
“I honestly believe it would have stopped some people using the trains, which in turn is a loss of their independence.
“I was half expecting this to happen. The writing was on the wall.”
The government u-turn came after a huge public backlash to the cost-cutting proposals, which attracted 750,000 responses in a public consultation, 99% of which were objections, according to the passenger watchdog overseeing the survey.