‘Savage’ plan to close Merseyside train ticket offices - full list of 20 stations at risk

There are concerns over the possible loss of jobs and disadvantages to commuters.
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Rail operators across the Liverpool City Region (LCR) have announced plans to scrap train ticket offices at a significant number of stations despite fierce criticism from the RMT workers union. The changes are part of wider cost-cutting measures that could see around 1,000 ticket offices shut nationally.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) claims that the facilities are no longer required because only 12% of train tickets are purchased from station offices, down from 85% in 1995. However, unions say 75 jobs could be lost in the Liverpool City region alone, with 18 stations, all operated by Northern, set to lose ticket offices altogether and a further two affected.

Commuters would have to purchase train tickets straight from train operators’ apps or websites, by using self-service machines at stations or by ‘tapping in’ with contactless methods.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “The decision to close up to 1,000 ticket offices and to issue hundreds of redundancy notices to staff is a savage attack on railway workers, their families and the travelling public.”

Transport for North said: “We understand that the way people buy tickets is changing and that there needs to be reform. We are concerned that the focus on ticket office staffing in isolation of wider investment (for example pay as you go ticketing) could lead to disadvantaging certain passengers and communities.”

An RDG spokesperson said: “No redundancy notices have been served to staff. Alongside public consultations, train operators have issued a letter to trade unions which opens consultation on managing the transition in a way that minimises the impact of the changes.”

The Liverpool City Region stations affected by the proposed ticket office closures are:

  • Earlestown
  • Eccleston Park
  • Edge Hill
  • Garswood
  • Halewood
  • Hough Green
  • Huyton
  • Lea Green
  • Mossley Hill
  • Newton-le- Willows
  • Prescot
  • Rainhill
  • Roby
  • St Helens Junction
  • Thatto Heath
  • Wavertree Technology Park
  • West Allerton
  • Whiston
  • Staffing at Liverpool Lime Street and St Helens Central will be affected but ticket offices will remain
Railway ticket offices are to close to ‘modernise’ the industry (Photo: Getty Images) Railway ticket offices are to close to ‘modernise’ the industry (Photo: Getty Images)
Railway ticket offices are to close to ‘modernise’ the industry (Photo: Getty Images)

What happens next: The proposals will undergo a 21-day consultation period. The RMT is mounting a strong industrial and political campaign to resist the closures and are urging passengers to object to the proposals via their website. The RDG claims ticket office staff will be transitioned to new roles, giving advice and supporting customers with accessibility needs.

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