More time for public to have their say as ticket office consultation deadline extended.

Following feedback from passengers, the rail industry has given more time for the consultation on changes to ticket offices. The consultation will now close on Friday 1 September, 2023.

Input from passengers and independent watchdogs will help shape final proposals, so all rail users are supported as the railway responds to generational shifts in passenger buying habits.

The consultation is happening as part of an industry-wide set of proposals that would mean ticket office staff would work on station platforms and concourses where they can be closer to customers. Subject to consultation, ticket offices could be phased out over a number of years.

Ticket office staff would be freed up to work in other areas of the station where they are closer to customers and better placed to help, in line with models already in place at some Great Western Railway stations such as Newbury or Reading Green Park.

A new role, based on the existing station multi-skilled roles already in place on the GWR network since 2007, would be created to allow staff to help more customers with a wider range of issues. Instead of being confined to just one area, these roles would be able to help customers in many more ways – including those with additional accessibility needs – wherever they are on the station.

It is a way of working already in place at some Great Western Railway stations, including Newbury and Reading Green Park stations.

Customers’ use of online and digital ticketing has accelerated over the past four years, and today, just 14.5% of GWR tickets are sold at ticket offices. The changes would align the rail industry with many other retailers, including banks, which have offered counter-free services for over a decade.

The Passenger Assist programme – which helps disabled and mobility-impaired customers navigate stations and board trains – will not be affected by the changes. In fact, the proposals are designed to increase staff trained and available to help customers at stations across the network, including those with additional accessibility needs.

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Submit your comments:

Follow the links to either Transport Focus or London TravelWatch, who are independently running the consultation, by Friday 1 September.

A spokesperson for GWR said:

“Digital tickets and mobile phones means our ticket office staff are helping around half the number of people they did in 2019.  It makes sense to move staff where they can be more help to more customers, and provide more training to help with a wider range of issues– like assisting those with reduced mobility through stations and onto our trains.

“This consultation is designed to allow the public to test and examine our proposals, and make sure our plans are compliant with the safeguards put in place at privatisation so that the needs of customers will still be met.”