ScotRail ticket office closures postponed and fewer in Glasgow will have hours reduced
Three ScotRail station ticket offices earmarked for closure are to be reprieved for at least two years pending a review of their potential to increase sales.
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The train operator said today it would also largely cancel plans to reduce opening hours at around seven of the 117 offices due to have been downgraded.
The stay of execution for Clydebank, Cartsdyke in Greenock and Woodhall, near Port Glasgow, is to give ScotRail time to “consider whether new housing and incentives for businesses by local authorities will increase ticket office sales”.
It said staff hours would also be “broadly maintained” at two stations serving hospitals – Dalmuir in West Dunbartonshire for NHS Golden Jubilee, and Hyndland in Glasgow for Gartnavel General and Royal.
The revised plans will also see Wishaw’s ticket office opening on a Sunday.
In addition, a total of 33 hours of planned cuts to opening hours at other offices will be scrapped, which mainly comprise 15-20 minute reprieves at stations such as Bellshill, Wemyss Bay, East Kilbride and Larbert.
ScotRail said staff would also remain at 51 stations to help passengers for the same hours as at present, even though ticket office opening times will be reduced.
However, staff at 54 ticket offices will be redeployed to create three “mobile teams” and “new high-profile customer support” at Glasgow High Street, Paisley, and Partick stations.
The changes follow 1,500 responses to a public consultation launched last month and comments from passenger watchdog Transport Focus.
ScotRail said its plans to reduce opening hours followed use of ticket offices halving over the last ten years as more passengers used ticket machines or bought tickets online.
It said none of the affected staff would lose their jobs.
Head of customer operations Phil Campbell said: “The changes we propose to make as a result of the public consultation demonstrate we are listening to our customers and creating an environment that improves safety, customer support, and the helpfulness of staff.”
However, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union called for all the cuts to be shelved.
General secretary Mick Lynch said: "The responses to the Transport Focus consultation from passengers, MSPs, MPs, local authorities, disabled organisations and other groups make clear there is nearly universal opposition to the proposals.”
A version of this article first appeared on our sister site, The Scotsman