Rail union RMT claims Greater Anglia plans to close all but seven ticket offices
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Rail union RMT has vowed to fight what it says are moves by Great Anglia to close all but seven of its ticket offices - relying on customers to buy their fares online or from ticket machines.
But the rail operator has denied it wants to shut the bulk of its offices, but it is considering closing seven of its little-used ticket offices.
The union, whose full title is National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, said Greater Anglia told RMT officials it plans to cut its number of ticket offices from 64 to seven - those at London Liverpool Street, Colchester, Norwich, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Stansted Airport.
An RMT spokesman said this would happen over the next three years. He said Great Anglia also planned to introduce more ticket machines and 'revenue staff', which would have further implications for jobs and services.
Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, 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.
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'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.'
But a Greater Anglia spokesperson said they had no plans to leave just seven offices open, only that they were considering closing a number of their lesser-used outlets.
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The offices under consideration for closure are Walton, Thorpe-le-Soken, Alresford, Dovercourt, Great Bentley, Harwich International and Great Chesterford.
The spokesman 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 trades unions on any proposed changes to ticket office arrangements.'
Greater Anglia has the franchise for the region's rail until 2026. It operates 133 stations, 69 of which do not have ticket offices.