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“When you fight hard for a just cause you can win!” MP praises public for their part in keeping Spalding’s railway station ticket office open





MP Sir John Hayes has praised the people of South Holland for playing their part in the fight to keep Spalding Railway Station’s ticket office open.

Today it was announced that plans to can employees based at around 1,000 stations around the country has been scrapped following a mass public outcry, which left local campaigners ‘elated’.

And with hundreds of people in South Holland and the surrounding areas signing petitions and making their voices heard, they more than played their part in the fight against automation at the Spalding station.

Sir John Hayes, Jan Whitbourn and George Scott meet with EMR's Will Rogers at Spalding Railway Station
Sir John Hayes, Jan Whitbourn and George Scott meet with EMR's Will Rogers at Spalding Railway Station

“In South Holland we really showed what we can achieve because we had one of the highest numbers of petition signings of any area, it was in the top five in the country,” said South Holland and The Deepings MP Sir John.

“The public really stepped up to the mark and came forward in large numbers to say this is not acceptable.

“I’m really grateful to everyone who came forward. Without the people we couldn’t have achieved this victory.

Station campaigners got the result they wanted today
Station campaigners got the result they wanted today

“I was able to say I have a huge number of constituents that backed the campaign 100%.”

Sir John had held talks with East Midlands Railway managing director Will Rogers in parliament and also at Spalding Railway Station, where he was joined by fellow campaigners, and believes the train company deserved credit for listening during the consultation.

“It’s a real victory for a really hard-fought campaign. We worked very closely together,” added Sir John, praising fellow campaigners including South Holland District councillors Jan Whitbourn, Gary Taylor, Jack Tyrrell, Liz Sneath, former councillor Glynis Scalese and George Scott of the Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum.

“It was a really good local team effort.

“I raised this directly with ministers, and we’ve had Will Rogers both in Parliament and at the station. I spoke in the House as well on the debate.

“A lot of people said it was a fait accompli and you’re wasting your time but I said ‘absolutely not’ - ministers did listen and intervened and brought the rail company to heel.

“But to be fair to Will Rogers, we didn’t get the sense that he wasn’t taking it seriously, or that he was paying lip service.

“Ministers and the rail companies have responded to public pressure in the way they should,.

“It shows that when you fight hard for a just cause you can win.”

Campaigners feared that ditching staff at the station would make buying tickets from a machine harder for people due to barriers such as disability and language and make the station feel less safe.



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