Ticket office bid sparks councils to air concerns - The Worcester Observer

Ticket office bid sparks councils to air concerns

Worcester Editorial 11th Sep, 2023   0

LEADERS of all six district councils in Worcestershire have united to express concern about controversial proposals which would see all but one county railway station lose its ticket office.

The councils have submitted a joint response to the consultations by West Midlands Railway and Great Western Railway. All tickets offices across the county would close apart from Worcester Foregate Street.

The district councils are concerned about the impact of the changes on users of rail services in Worcestershire, including tourists at some stations. They are calling on the companies to pay careful attention to points raised by rail users in the consultation.

In their response to the consultation, which closed on Friday (September 1), council chiefs said the industry should not make it harder for people to use railways.

“It is not just about buying tickets – it is about security and wrap around support for rail users,” the response read.

The district councils raise particular concern about the lack of information and guarantees within West Midlands Railway’s proposals in respect of times when staff will be available at stations that currently have ticket offices and in respect of maintaining existing access to waiting room and toilet facilities.




The contrast with the detailed proposals issued by Great Western Railway is ‘stark and not acceptable’, according to the councils.

Council chiefs have called on West Midlands Railway to set out its proposed timetable for implementing changes, and the minimum guaranteed hours when staff will be present at the county’s busiest stations.


The response to both West Midlands Railway and Great Western Railway states for stations which have internal areas there should be a guarantee of ticket machine inside if one is not already available, so users may buy tickets shielded from the weather.

The district councils also call on both firms to make alternative use of current ticket office areas, rather than simply seeing them boarded up.

Although concerned about the impact of closure of ticket offices, the districts welcome the comprehensiveness and clarity of the proposals from Great Western Railway, including times when staff will continue to be available at stations that currently have ticket offices and in respect of maintaining existing access to waiting room and toilet facilities.

Coun Tom Wells, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, who chaired the meeting which discussed the issue, said:

“The railway companies should not make it harder for people to use railways. It is not just about buying tickets – it is about security and wrap around support for rail users.

“The district councils are particularly concerned about the lack of information and guarantees within West Midlands Railway’s proposals.

“They do not state when staff will be available at the county’s busiest stations that currently have ticket offices, or promise to keep existing access to waiting room and toilet facilities.

“In contrast, Great Western Railway has set out that staff will continue to be present during the same hours as now.”

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