Published: 26 Jul 2023
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) welcomes the decision to extend the consultation regarding the proposed closure of ticket offices across the rail network, having raised concerns with the Department for Transport (DfT).
Specifically, the EHRC highlighted the insufficient time provided for disabled and older people, as well as the voluntary organisations representing their interests, to fully comprehend the implications of the proposed changes and voice their concerns.
As Britain’s equality watchdog, the EHRC reminded the DfT of its obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act, which requires public sector organisations to carefully consider equality across their work, including when designing or changing services.
The Commission urgently requested an immediate extension to the submission deadline for responses.
Chairwoman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Kishwer Falkner said:
“The needs of older and disabled passengers must be properly considered and addressed in any proposed rail ticket office closures. We welcome the decision to extend this consultation to ensure all those who need to can respond properly and express any concerns.
“We have been contacted by a number of stakeholders telling us that published consultation documents were inaccessible for some disabled people and new documents have been added throughout the consultation period.
“This is unacceptable and our letter to the DfT outlined those concerns, urging for those likely impacted by these changes to be given the time they deserve to voice their opinions. We hope today’s decision to extend will ensure that be the case.”
Read the full letter to DfT.