Proposed end to walk-on train tickets 'will hit last minute travel'

Virgin train'Photo: PA
Virgin train'Photo: PA
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An MP has echoed concerns over Virgin’s wish that walk-on tickets for intercity trains should be stopped.

The West Coast Main Line operator said instead services should copy Eurostar and make passengers book a ticket and seat in advance. It said it would help end overcrowding and standing on trains. Virgin has submitted the plans to the Department for Transport

But Blackpool-based rail sector champion for disabled travellers Stephen Brookes said this phasing out of walk on and open ticket travel would be discrimination.

He said: “The majority of disabled people have actually been pressing for ‘turn up and go’ facilities, as frequently, medical and physical fluctuating conditions make some planned travel impossible.

“The proposal seems to fly in the face of recent moves to make short term travel assistance available...it is in my view discriminatory to disabled people by putting us at a real disadvantage.”

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “These ill-thought out proposals go far wider than that. What about people who find themselves needing to travel last minute by train to visit friends or relatives involved in accidents, suddenly taken ill , or people whose work, including key NHS or other public services, compel them to take on the day or day before travel?”