The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has plans for mass closure of railway station ticket offices in England to “modernise customer service.”
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) who have been striking on and off for over a year over pay, jobs and conditions said that “hundreds of redundancy notices” are being sent to ticket office workers.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the closure policy is “a savage attack on railway workers, their families and the travelling public.”
Transport Salaried Staffs Association interim general secretary Peter Pendle said: “We are clear the Government will face strong opposition from this union on the totally unnecessary mass closure of ticket offices.
“Ministers will soon realise that the public have no desire to see their rail network diminished in this way.”
RDG chief executive Jacqueline Starr said, “The ways our customers buy tickets has changed and it’s time for the railway to change with them.
“With just 12% of tickets being sold from ticket offices last year, and 99% of those transactions being available on TVMs (ticket vending machines) or online, our proposals would mean more staff on hand to give face-to-face help with a much wider range of support, from journey planning, to finding the right ticket and helping those with accessibility needs.
“Our commitment is that we will always treat our staff, who are hugely valued and integral to the experience our customers have on the railway, fairly, with support and extra training to move into new more engaging roles.
“We also understand that our customers have differing needs, which is why the industry widely sought the views of accessibility and passenger groups when creating these proposals, and will continue to through the consultation.
“We encourage those who wish to take part to go to their local train company website or visit Transport Focus or London TravelWatch.”