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Consultation launched after plans are revealed to shut nearly ALL rail station ticket offices in England

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Plans to shut nearly all England’s remaining train station ticket offices were revealed by rail chiefs earlier today.

East Midlands Railway (EMR) is joining train companies across the country to launch a public consultation on plans to move staff from ticket offices and into stations, which they say will offer more face-to-face support for customers across the network as a whole.

The proposals will see ticket office staff transitioning to multi-skilled ‘customer help’ roles and give advice about the best and cheapest fares, support customers with accessibility needs and to help customers board and alight from trains.

The train firms said the changes would mean a more visible and accessible staff presence overall in stations during staffed hours, on ticket concourses and on platforms.

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Figures from EMR have revealed that in the mid-90s over 80% of all tickets were sold at ticket offices, compared to just 12% nationally and less than 5% at EMR stations on average today.

Rail Delivery Group CEO Jac Starr said: “The way our customers buy tickets has changed and it’s time for the railway to change with them. Our proposals would mean more staff on hand to give face-to-face help with a much wider range of needs, 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, fairly, with support and extra training to move in to new, rewarding and varied roles and we will never compromise on safety. We also understand that our customers have differing needs which is why train companies will be consulting widely with accessibility and passenger groups to take on board their views.”

Independent passenger watchdogs Transport Focus and London Travel Watch will facilitate the 21 day consultation for passengers, which could see the closure of a number of ticket offices across the network as staff move out from behind the glass.

Those wanting to contribute to the consultation and share their views can do so by emailing their views to ticketoffice.emr@transportfocus.org.uk or writing freepost to RTEH-XAGE-BYKZ, Transport Focus, PO Box 5594, Southend on Sea, SS1 9PZ.

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For more information about people can have their say can be found at www.transportfocus.org.uk. 

The consultation closes on 26 July 2023.

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