Greater Anglia says no plans to reduce ticket offices to seven
- Credit: Antony Guppy
Greater Anglia has denied claims that it plans to reduce the number of its ticket offices to seven. The rail operator was responding to rail union RMT saying it would step up a campaign to fight a planned programme of ticket offices closures.
A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: 'We have no plans to reduce the number of Greater Anglia ticket offices to seven. However, we are currently reviewing responses to a public consultation about proposals to close seven little-used ticket offices. There are no current proposals to close any other ticket offices. We will continue to consult with our colleagues and the trade unions on any proposed changes to ticket office arrangements.'
The company said it was monitoring ticket sales and in line with other industries, was seeing many customers switch to buying online or from ticket machines.
'As a result, we are investing significant sums in installing and improving ticket vending machines at every station and increasing the range of smart and mobile ticketing options available to our customers. Our aim is to make ticket purchase easier and more convenient for our customers. There would be no job losses as a result of the current proposals to close seven ticket offices.'
Greater Anglia currently operates 64 ticket offices. The remaining 69 stations, of the 133 operated by the company, do not have ticket offices.
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RMT said it had given the company a deadline of June 19 to confirm that all ticket office jobs and windows will be kept open for the length of the current franchise or the union will declare a formal dispute over the issue.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: 'The union is appalled at this planned attack on ticket offices and station staff across the Greater Anglia franchise which would wipe out the vast bulk of these vital passenger services over the next year. The union will fight with every tool at our disposal to halt these disastrous plans which are all about cutting public services to pump up private profits.'
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He said the plan was part of a national drive to 'de-staff our trains and stations'.