Posted 5th July 2023 | 3 Comments

Ticket office closure plans expected today

The Department for Transport is reported to be pressing ahead with the closure of most station ticket offices in England.

An announcement is expected this morning about the launch of a consultation, but closing the offices seems likely to spark a furious union reaction and add to the present industrial tensions. ASLEF is staging an overtime ban at most English train operators this week, and the RMT has called three 24-hour walkouts later this month.

Rail minister Huw Merriman told the Commons on 29 June that ‘together with the industry we want to modernise the passenger experience by moving staff out from ticket offices to more visible and accessible roles around the station. Staff will be better placed to assist passengers who need additional support and to provide face-to-face help in customer focused roles. To propose any changes to the opening hours, or the closure of ticket offices, train operating companies must follow the process set out in the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement.’

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch has said: ‘The train operating companies and the government must understand that we will vigorously oppose any moves to close ticket offices.

‘We will not meekly sit by and allow thousands of jobs to be sacrificed or see disabled and vulnerable passengers left unable to use the railways as a result.’

Ministers want to axe ticket offices because they are no longer used by most passengers. Ticket purchases will have to be made in other ways, such as from machines or on line, which is already the case in some other European countries, including the Netherlands and Sweden.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Michael Davies, High Wycombe Bucks

    I have the unfortunate problem of having to travel by Chiltern Rail. I can`t use the ticket machines at High Wycombe as there are never any staff there to help. No matter what time of day or night the station is empty of staff. The people in the ticket office are very helpful....
    It`s a retrospective idea to shut ticket offices.

  • Mel Packwood, London

    How will the visually impaired and those with mobility problems locate the staff who can be anywhere on the station. At least with staff in a ticket office one knows where to look for help. This will make travel much more difficult for the older passengers and the disabled. Is this sort of discriminatory service the norm anywhere else in Europe?

  • ANNE DOLAN, Grantham

    we are told that most tickets are bought on line,,,that is not because this is preferable to personal contact, but because it is cheaper to buy on line..Why have so many prices ?.I personally do not have a mobile phone so do not have e -tickets .I usually collect at the station, though not all providers offer this service and if one has no printer this makes things difficult.
    I would welcome statard prices as we used to have.