Railway station ticket office closure plans to be revealed

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Plans to close almost every railway station ticket office in England will be revealed on Wednesday.

The PA news agency are reporting that industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) will unveil proposals to shut offices at hundreds of stations.

Around three out of five stations have a ticket office, with the vast majority owned and run by train operators, which are under pressure from the Government to save money amid the drop in revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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There are concerns that the move could lead to job losses, and put some vulnerable passengers such as those who are disabled or elderly off train travel.

Last week, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch warned the union would “vigorously oppose any moves to close ticket offices”.

An RDG spokesman said negotiations with the union over the changes have “stalled” and the industry is “now looking at how to move forward”.

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He added: “Any changes would be subject to employee and public consultations. “Staff always remain front of mind, so as you would expect from a responsible employer, if and when the time comes for proposals on ticket offices to be published, they will be the first to know.”

The RDG said 12% of train tickets are bought from offices at stations, down from 85% in 1995.

Train companies believe their ticket office staff would be able to serve customers better if they were on station concourses.

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Passengers will be asked to pay for journeys by tapping contactless cards on barriers, using self-service machines and buying tickets on trains if possible.


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