The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said yesterday that a ‘hit list’ of 675 rail station ticket office closures has been drawn up following the advice of the McNulty Report.
In response to the TSSA’s campaign on ticket offices and station staffing, a spokesperson for the Association of Train Operating Companies said:
“We recognise the importance of having staff at stations and understand that passengers want to talk to another human being, in particular when there is disruption.
“Currently, any changes to ticket office opening times have to undergo a rigorous consultation process and ensure that passengers’ needs continue to be met. The Government is yet to announce how it intends to take forward McNulty’s recommendations.
“The industry needs to cut costs as a way of limiting future fare rises and providing better value for money for the taxpayer. Recent years have seen a fundamental shift in the way that people buy train tickets.
“There have been big increases in the use of ticket machines, rail websites and smartcards, meaning that around one in three tickets is now bought from station ticket offices.”
Figures released by ATOC show that over the last five years the number of ticketing sold through the internet ‘has more than trebled, rising 210%’.
They also claimed that the number of tickets sold from ticket machines has almost doubled, yet the number sold at stations has fallen 12% and now accounts for ‘just over a third’ of all tickets.