ScotRail train at a station platform

ScotRail plans will see ticket office opening hours reduced

In the first overhaul of ticket office opening hours in 30 years, rail operator ScotRail has announced plans which would see hours reduced at 120 sites.

Three ticket offices are also earmarked for closure under the plans, though ScotRail has said the changes would not lead to any job losses.

ScotRail’s Head of Customer Operations, Phil Campbell, said the use of ticket offices had fallen by 50% - increased by the Covid-19 pandemic – supporting the plans to reduce ticket office opening hours.

He explained: “There has been no real review of our ticket office opening hours for 30 years, and it is important we keep up with the changing habits of customers who no longer rely on purchasing tickets in that way."

Mr Campbell added that the plans were “about adding value for our staff and customers” and would not impact station safety or disabled access.

Reducing the opening hours of a number of ticket offices across the operator’s network would also help it reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint.

ScotRail currently operates more than 2,000 train services through 359 stations, of which 143 have staffed ticket offices across the country.

However, the plans have been met with criticism from some, with rail union TSSA, suggesting the changes to opening times overlooked the wider role ticket office staff played at the station.

Manuel Cortes, Leader of TSSA, said: “Booking office staff don't just sell tickets, they help passengers on and off the trains and they keep stations safe for passengers - by salting and gritting platforms at this time of the year and by discouraging anti-social behaviour.

"ScotRail's plans will make the railways feel less safe, particularly for women, especially in the darker months, and will result in an increase in anti-social behaviour."

A consultation on the plans will now be carried out by Transport Focus, on behalf of ScotRail.

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