Ticket offices will be shut down in bulk by train companies


In England, train companies intend to continue closing ticket offices in large numbers.

On Wednesday, business leaders are anticipated to confirm a public consultation on the planned three-year phase-out of hundreds of ticket kiosks.

Some employees will stay in large stations, but others will be relocated to concourses to sell tickets, provide travel assistance, and assist those who need special accommodations.

The rail unions are against the plans and have threatened more strikes.

A ticket office can be found in about three out of every five stations.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train companies, has decided to start a consultation on the future of ticket offices after failed negotiations with the RMT union.

According to the trade group, only 12 percent of tickets are typically sold at station kiosks today, down from 85 percent in 1995. Instead, more customers are purchasing tickets online or at machines.

It contends that its adjustments will free up staff to assist more passengers by allowing them to leave the privacy of station offices. A few stations already use the new model for operation.

According to an RDG spokesperson, "the industry has always been open and honest about the need for the railway to evolve with its customers so it can better meet their needs and secure a thriving long-term future for an economically vital service.

The RMT, the largest rail union in the UK, is led by Mick Lynch, who previously declared that his organization would not "meekly sit by and allow thousands of jobs to be sacrificed or see disabled and vulnerable passengers left unable to use the railways as a result.".

The government will "shortly realise that the public have no desire to see their rail network diminished in this way," according to Peter Pendle, interim general secretary of the TSSA rail union.

Longtime opponents of the idea include some disability activists who claim it would make accessibility more difficult.

The matter is the most recent flashpoint in a long-running conflict between train companies and unions over pay, employment opportunities, and working conditions that has led to several strikes in recent years.

The government is putting pressure on the rail sector to reduce expenses after providing significant support during the Covid pandemic.

Regarding the consultation, the Department of Transportation has refrained from comment.

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