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TRAIN CAMPAIGN: Apsley station worker against ticket office closure proposals

 Published on: 23rd August 2023   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

A longstanding Apsley train station worker has fought back against a proposal which could see ticket offices closed at a number of stations.

The proposal has been announced by the Rail Delivery Group, which represents an array of railway companies. The group aims to better support passengers by moving colleagues out from behind traditional ticket office windows onto the station floor, which the group says will make them more visible and accessible to customers.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) is opposing the plans. 

Savita, who has worked at Apsley station for 15 years, joined the RMT’s ‘Save our railway ticket office’ campaign. On the morning of August 16, she handed out flyers outside the station and encouraged passengers to comment on a Transport Focus public consultation, which closes on September 1.

Savita told Kings News: “There will be redundancies; it’s clearly all about profits.

“They want us to move outside, but some people may not be able to do that if they have arthritis for example.

“A partially blind person may not be able to use the machines, or the elderly who may struggle technologically, and they need us in the offices to help them. Foreign language speakers also often need some help.

“A classic example happened yesterday. A family of four came at 8am. I told them that if they waited a little bit they could get their tickets almost half price. But in the future, I wouldn’t be here to help.”

Jacqueline Starr, Rail Delivery Group chief executive, said: “The ways our customers buy tickets has changed. With just 12 per cent of tickets being sold from ticket offices last year, and 99 per cent of those transactions being available on 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.”

You can take part in the consultation at www.transportfocus.org.uk/train-station-ticket-office-consultation

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