Sunday, January 16, 2022

Three ticket offices will be closed as part of ScotRail’s proposals

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Ticket offices at some Scottish train stations could close as part of the first overhaul of service in three decades, but critics have blown the plans as such, which would hit passengers and undermine station security.

ScotRail’s ticket office consultation said the proposed changes would affect 120 stations, some will see minor changes, the operator said, but three ticket offices are for the ax and others may have reduced hours.

Phil Campbell, Head of Customer Operations for the rail company, said, “There hasn’t been a real check of our ticket office opening hours in 30 years, and it’s important that we keep up with the changing habits of customers who no longer need to shop are tickets this way. “

He added, “With ticket sales down by more than 50%, compounded by the pandemic, we want to do everything we can to ensure everyone has a hassle-free trip.”

Mr Campbell said there will be no job losses and the changes are about “creating value for our employees and customers”.

The proposals were announced on Tuesday and came under fire within hours.

Scottish Labor traffic spokesman Neil Bibby said that “ScotRail passengers are offered secondary service”.

“Routes are being shortened, fares are increasing and now ticket counters are being closed,” said the MSP.

“Whatever ScotRail may say, these cuts will hit passengers, threaten jobs and undermine station security.”

ScotRail said the proposed changes would achieve a number of goals, including less fare fraud and ticketless travel, generating and protecting more revenue, reducing antisocial behavior, and cutting carbon emissions by about 102 tons per year through less heating and lighting.

And it said the review would find no change in the number and frequency of services, that there would be a job for anyone on existing station teams who wanted something that didn’t compromise customer safety and that passengers with mobility or access needs would continue to do so get supported.

Transport Focus will conduct the public consultation on behalf of the rail operator from Wednesday and Robert Samson, Stakeholder Manager at Watchdog, said: “It is important that people have their say and we urge people to take the suggestions from us View ScotRail and give us comments.

“We will take into account passenger comments about the changes to inform our response.”

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