MSP hits out at ScotRail plans to shake-up ticket offices

Plans to shake-up ticket offices at Falkirk stations have come under fire.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 11:51 am

Mark Griffin, Central Scotland Labour MSP, said more should be done to encourage people to travel by train.

His comments came after ScotRail said it was proposing to change opening hours as part of a wide-ranging review.

It has pledged that no member of staff will lose their jobs, but wants to change operating hours as it re-shapes its services post-pandemic.

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Pic: John Devlin

ScotRail said there has been a 50 percent drop in usage of all ticket offices in the last decade as more commuters book online or using vending machines.

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It said where there has been a decline, the opportunities that exist to reduce fraudulent travel, and how to increase revenue.

Mr Griffin has slammed plans and said they could lead to Falkirk High, Falkirk Grahamston, Larbert and Polmont station ticket offices having their hours “substantially reduced”

He said: “We’ve already seen routes slashed and fares hiked and now ticket offices are being hit.

"We should be encouraging more people to travel by train, not making it harder and less safe to do so.

Scotrail is due to come into public hands in a matter of months and it appears that the SNP-Green Government are preparing for that by nodding through one round of cuts after another.

I’d encourage local people, especially those who will be directly affected by the changes, to take part in the consultation and make their views known.”

Phil Campbell, head of customer operations at ScotRail, said: “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.

“With more than a 50 per cent drop in the use of ticket offices, heightened by the pandemic, we want to do everything we can to make sure everyone has a hassle-free journey.

“Nobody in ScotRail will lose their jobs, and it is important to note that rather being about cutting jobs, this is about adding value for our staff and customers.

"Over the coming weeks we’ll be talking to customers, staff, and stakeholders about the improvements they can expect to see.”

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