Rail union TSSA and the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) have joined forces today to highlight the dangerous impact that ticket office closures will have on disabled, older and vulnerable passengers.
TSSA represents staff working in stations and ticket offices and the NPC is the principal organisation representing pensioners in the United Kingdom.
TSSA Interim General Secretary, Peter Pendle, welcomed the joint campaign.
Commenting, Pendle said: “The closure of ticket offices affects everyone, but particularly vulnerable passengers and those with disabilities and additional needs.
“Losing ticket offices would make our railways less accessible for many older passengers. Ticket machines are inconsistent, which can cause difficulties for those who are not technologically savvy. Other machines do not accept cash, which is an obstacle to many people.
“Older passengers already face significant barriers to travelling by rail and the government’s proposals will make this situation much worse”.
Commenting, Jan Shortt, NPC General Secretary, said: “Ticket machines do not have the full range of tickets and cannot give alternatives in the same way as staff in ticket offices can assist passengers. Those without the ability to go online or have a smart phone app are going to be excluded from accessing ticket purchases that suit their journey.
“Disabled, older and vulnerable people will not be able to access travel in a manner that suits their needs. This is discrimination and we fail to understand how a better service can be given to rail users by excluding a potential 180 million journeys (12% of ticket office sales) from their business.
“None of the 'reforms' have resulted in any improvement for passengers and this latest proposal is the final nail in the coffin”.