The government believes that in future all train tickets will be bought through machines and on line. They want to do away with ticket offices. They propose either closing or greatly reducing opening hours at up to half of all ticket offices in the country.
At hundreds of stations, the ticket office is the only place left where passengers can find staff and many facilities like toilets and waiting areas are only available when that ticket office is open. The government’s proposals will lead to many stations deserted of staff with no available facilities.
We know that passengers want ticket offices open.
Over half of all nationally available ticket retail is provided through face to face contact with ticket office or train staff. Nearly all (89%) ticket retailers offering the full range of tickets for passengers are handled by trained staff in ticket offices and on trains. What is more, surveys show that passengers value face to face contact when it comes to navigating their way around the complex ticket pricing system.
The Department for Transport’s own review into ticketing acknowledges Passenger Focus research that shows that “passengers are more confident with ticket offices than any other sales channel of obtaining the best value ticket for their journey”