Unions seek urgent talks with Government over future of rail ticket offices

·1-min read

Union leaders are calling for urgent talks with the Government over the future of rail ticket offices.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps should “come clean” about any closure plans.

General secretary Manuel Cortes said in a letter to the minister: “Closing ticket offices and moving to online-only sales would badly impact millions of elderly, disabled and disadvantaged people who are unable, or far less able, to use online services, yet still need to access public transport.

“These proposed closures are in no-one’s interest and make a mockery of your so called Great British Railways reforms.

“With trust at rock bottom between rail workers and bosses, what you are doing, in effect, is further entrenching our dispute with you which is not only about jobs, pay and conditions but the future wellbeing of our rail network.”

Rail and Tube strikes
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Department for Transport said no final decision has been taken on ticket offices, but it was “absurd” to suggest it wanted to see every booking office closed.

It added: “The reality is that ticket offices have seen a significant decline in passenger use over the last decade, yet numbers have not substantially changed since then.

“Staff will always provide face-to-face services on the railways, which can be crucial for those who need additional support and cannot, or do not want to, use contactless or mobile tickets, said a statement.”