Under new proposals by UK train companies, stations will see staff move out of ticket offices and onto station platforms and concourses in multi-skilled roles, with the potential to close nearly 1,000 ticket offices in a number of locations as a result.
Earlier this year, the Government rushed through changes to its guidance on how it deals with ticket office cuts and closures. Despite the massive implications for passengers, the Government says it will not consult publicly on changes to the guidance.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) believes these plans are not about improving the passenger experience, but rather cutting jobs and protecting the profits of the train companies.
Take action and have your say
Independent watchdog Transport Focus has launched a public consultation to gather passenger's views on the proposed closure of the majority of ticket offices in England (London TravelWatch is the watchdog for London-based commuters).
The consultation is open until Wednesday 26 July and the RMT have provided a helpful resource to help passengers respond to the consultations.
You can also sign the following petitions to oppose the plans to close the ticket offices:
Why we oppose plans to close ticket offices
In a recent survey of RMT members, nearly 90% of station and ticket office staff said plans to close ticket offices and make all staff ‘multi-functional’ would have a detrimental impact on the passenger experience and on passenger accessibility.
These plans ignore the much wider role that ticket office staff provide in addition to sales, including providing a wide range of advice and expertise and navigating the complex ticketing system to ensure passengers are not overcharged.
The ticket office provides a point of safety and security, and at many stations the access to facilities such as toilets and waiting rooms relies on the presence of staff.
The MU will continue raising this issue
The MU believes that ticket offices and station staffing must be protected. We have moved successful motions on this issue at STUC Disabled Workers Conference, TUC Women's Conference and will be raising this again next week at the TUC Disabled Workers Conference.
Many MU members rely on public transport to travel to and from work, often late at night.
Closing ticket offices will worsen the passenger experience and impact safety, security and accessibility. This may be particularly severe for disabled and elderly passengers and those requiring additional support.
Take action and have your say as public consultation begins.