The TSSA rail union today welcomed confirmation from Scottish Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop that all ScotRail ticket offices in Scotland would remain open, but said rail users were still facing “limbo” when it came to plans to reduce opening hours.
Rail operator Abellio announced proposals in early 2022 to close three railway ticket offices on the ScotRail line, which it owned at the time.
Following intense campaigning from TSSA and other rail unions, the closures were dropped, with the Scottish Transport Minister reaffirming at a Holyrood Committee meeting on Thursday that no ticket offices would face closure.
But TSSA expressed concerns that plans to reduce opening times are said to still be on the table. The proposed changes, currently awaiting ministerial approval, would remove staff from offices across 127 stations at off-peak times - a move TSSA has been quick to point out would see ticket offices closing for most of the day in any case.
Commenting, Interim General Secretary Peter Pendle said, “We welcome the commitment from the Minister that no booking offices in Scotland will close, and the acknowledgement of the role that they play in assisting disabled and elderly passengers.
“But we must ask the Minister to go further and give her public commitment to abandon ScotRail’s nonsensical plans to remove staff from 127 booking offices across Scotland.
“Reducing ticket office opening hours will have the same ‘damaging’ impact that the Minister rightly states closing them will. Scottish passengers have been in limbo for years now, waiting to hear what will happen. They deserve a steadfast commitment that the staff they depend on at all times of day will remain fully in place.”