The Government has asked train companies to rush through their proposals on ticket office closures, so today Avanti have announced their 21 day consultation for Lancaster railway station. It is much worse than I could have imagined.
Avanti have proposed:
- Permanently closing Lancaster railway station ticket office
- Reducing hours for ‘ticketing support’ for customers
This is absurd! The ticket office is the only way for passengers to ensure that they get the appropriate and best value fare for their journey. There are a range of products and services available at ticket offices which are not available at Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs). This can include refunds, vouchers, seat reservations, disabled passenger discounts, complex ticketing enquiries, fare-splitting, up-to-date cancellation/delay updates and re-routing, ferry/bus connections, and season ticket purchases.
While the Government says that ‘only’ 12% of tickets are sold at ticket offices, in 2022/23, there were 1.5 billion passenger journeys in the UK, which equates to around 180 million journeys being facilitated by ticket offices.
Lancaster Station ticket office is greatly valued by the local community, and many people have shared how ticketing staff have assisted them to get cheaper fares and deal with their complicated and diverted journeys. I share the alarm of residents about the prospect of the closures which will almost certainly worsen passenger safety, security, accessibility, and services. I also fear that the proposed changes would hit vulnerable passengers the hardest, and I am fiercely campaigning to oppose these changes.
I really value hearing about your own direct experiences, and I want to use them to show just how cherished the staff and ticket offices are.
Avanti need to know about this too, and you can have your say on these proposals by completing the form below. A copy of this will be sent directly to Avanti, to myself, and also to you:
Tell Avanti to Save Our Ticket Office