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ScotRail consults on overhaul of ticket office opening hours — including three closures

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ScotRail is consulting the public and other stakeholders on the revision of its ticket office opening hours – saying serious revisions have not happened since 1991.

The changes, it adds, are in light of new technology which has seen physical ticket offices in Scotland have their share go from 40% of sales in 2011 to just 28% in 2019.

Ticket machines, meanwhile, have accounted for up to 26% of sales, and online 18%.

The benchmarks used are all from before the pandemic rocked customer demand for trains.

The proposal is to reduce opening hours at 120 ticket offices, and close three. No staff will be made redundant but instead move to other frontline roles.

Changes to these hours must follow a prescribed procedure that requires extensive analysis of ticket office usage, sales data, and consultation with a variety of stakeholders, including customers and other train operating companies.

ScotRail has said that is will still have ticket offices at 140 stations should the changes go ahead.

The consultation can be found here.

ScotRail has said there will be less fare fraud and ticketless travel by cutting the hours of the ticket offices. It adds there will be new “family-friendly working hours and part-time shifts”, less antisocial behaviour, and more revenue.

Head of customer operations, Phil Campbell, 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 as a result of these changes, 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 and experience as they travel around Scotland’s Railway.”

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