Ticket Offices

Ticket office at London Marylebone station. Image by by Dr Neil Clifton, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons It’s good news the entire ticket office closure process has been 'cancelled' – but there’s a big sting in the tail – what will really happen next? Despite the Government’s claim that they were industry proposals, the substance is that they weren’t – they were train operators implementing very detailed instructions.

The Government had a want – to save money on ticket selling, and station staffing, now won’t achieve it through the 5 July proposals. We definitely do not want to see train service or other cuts to save the money in different ways. We really hope the government remembers that the best way to reduce taxpayer contributions is to grow the fare box. A reliable, welcoming railway with services that encourage passengers to travel is what is needed.

Ticket office at London Marylebone station. Image by by Dr Neil Clifton, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Summer 2023 Consultation

This page brings together all the content on the Railfuture website about the Ticket Office Consultation.  That content was the result of taking a fortnight to carefully formulate our position, consult branches and our passenger specialists, and hear from members at the AGM on Saturday 15th July.

We encouraged members, supporters and indeed everyone to comment on the impact of the planned changes at stations you use.  Comments were sent to Transport Focus (or London TravelWatch if the station is within their remit). These needed to be sent on or before 1 September.

Press releases following the consultation

31 October: Railway Ticket Offices – Railfuture responds: ‘But what happens next – will it be a pyrrhic victory??
29 October: Rail ticket office closures – Railfuture sets out its hopes for Tuesday
27 July: Ticket Office closure consultation – Extension = Yes; The Right approach = Still No

Our National Submission - sent 26 July 2023 - or read two pages with the key points:

Briefings to members for the consultation:

  1. Our All member briefing (PDF file), including suggested topics to consider in your submission.  Probably the most important issue to include is give good reasons why you can't use Ticket Vending Machines, Online or Contactless payments and instead rely on purchasing your tickets (etc) from a member of staff.
    • To read just the suggested topics for your own submission, we have an extract here.
  2. Our AGM Emergency Motion - 'Ticket sales – keeping the human touch' and also the update by Neil Middleton to the meeting (he is writing the national response).

Press releases during the consultation:

12 July: "The Ticket Office consultation is a mess – 101 unanswered questions with two weeks to go to comment"
2 July (ie in anticipation of the Consultation starting imminently) "Ticket Office closures - Penny wise, Pound foolish"
A botched implementation will cost the taxpayer – and passengers. Railfuture has serious concerns that the much speculated ticket office closure programme expected from the Government will be bad for passengers, the taxpayer – and rail staff.

More on Ticket Offices

Author: Neil Middleton - Published Wed 30 of Nov, 2022 10:15 GMT - (0 Reads)
The ticket office has been part of the Railway since the start. But now 7 in 8 people buy their ticket in other ways – online, from ticket vending machines – or use Pay as You Go (PAYG). Those 1 in 8 passengers though still need to be looked after properly - Railfuture strongly believes that in-person ticket selling continues to be essential. That doesn't have to be from behind a ticket office window though. Ticket Office staff should be redeployed to other areas of the station and take on a wider role assisting passengers - as well as continuing to sell tickets. Effort is also needed to improve and extend online selling, TVM functionality and coverage and to Pay as You Go. We believe this needs to happen before there are wholescale closures of ticket offices. Image by author.

Opinion: What should replace the railway ticket office?

Press Release 22 June 2022: Railfuture sets out its vision for the ways rail tickets should be sold and why in-person ticket sales remain an essential choice – even if the “ticket office” is to be closed.

Ticket offices may close

Author: Neil Middleton - Published Wed 23 of Mar, 2022 22:13 GMT - (0 Reads)
Neil Middleton, a Railfuture Director takes a look at expected Station Ticket Office closures and wonders if, looked at through wider viewpoints such as timing (vs fare simplification), inclusivity, attracting new passengers to rail they are necessarily a wise move. Ticket office at London Marylebone station. Image by by Dr Neil Clifton, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

Fares after Covid

Author: Neil Middleton - Published Sun 24 of Oct, 2021 20:08 BST - (0 Reads)
There is lots of talk of fares reform, but the detail, other than headline items like "Pay as You Go" and "Single Leg" pricing is missing. An appearance before the House of Lords Built Environment Committee gave us a great opportunity to set out our thoughts on improvements needed to fares and ticketing: we advocate both specific tactical improvements and some principles for fundamental reform. Thameslink train at Blackfriars - own image

And our "Railfuture in the News" page details some, but not all, of our media appearances.