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

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Plans to shake-up ticket offices at Falkirk stations have come under fire.

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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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.

Pic: John DevlinPic: John Devlin
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.

Read More
Larbert school named as ‘most overcrowded’ in Scotland

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”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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.”

Thank you for reading this article on our free-to-read website. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a subscription to our print newspaper to help fund our trusted, fact-checked journalism.