To all Branches and Regional Councils
29th June 2023
IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING RMT CAMPAIGN AGAINST TICKET OFFICE CLOSURES
Over the last year the RMT has been campaigning against the DfT managed train companies’ plans for wholesale ticket office closures.
You may be aware of reports this week that the Government has now instructed the train companies in England that it controls to imminently begin their public consultations over ticket office closures. Please note that the Welsh and Scottish Governments (who control the TfW and ScotRail franchises) are not currently proposing ticket office closures at these companies.
As part of our ongoing campaign, we have already issued a press release, warning of the cuts to come and briefed politicians and our social media channels of are alive with messages of support from the public.
The process for closing ticket offices is set out in Schedule 17 of the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement, which stipulates that their proposals have to be subject to a three-week public consultation overseen by Transport Focus or London Travelwatch for stations in London and the surrounding areas.
Previously, this process set out that where ticket offices averaged 12 or more transactions an hour, they could not close. The Government has now changed this, which means that even where ticket offices sell over 12 tickets an hour, they can still be closed. Instead, other factors such as economic and efficiency reasons, the availability of rail products and accessibility will be taken into account.
We need to mobilize a massive response to the public consultations to oppose the closures so that Transport Focus and London Travelwatch reject their proposals.
Campaign materials, both online and postcard model responses are being prepared and can be launched once we know the consultation dates. We will be coordinating days of action at stations to leaflet passengers and we need members, reps and activists to make sure this happens at as many stations as possible.
What you can do now:
- Email email@example.com to request campaign postcards and materials for when the consultations go live. Please advise which TOC/s you want materials for.
- Sign and share our petition and write to your MP.
- Get the word out that this is coming! Speak to colleagues, friends, family and your local community. Reach out to local disabled peoples’ organisations, rail user groups and local politicians.
We all know that closing ticket offices will make the railway less safe, secure and accessible and this is part of the Government and rail companies’ plans to de-staff the railway.
Together we need to mobilize to defeat, dilute and delay these plans.
If Transport Focus and London Travelwatch do object to ticket office closures, then the decision will go to the Transport Secretary, and at this point there would be a renewed campaign to put the pressure directly on the Transport Secretary Mark Harper to keep ticket offices open.
We’ll share updates with members and on social media as this develops. If you become aware of any proposals at your company, please email firstname.lastname@example.org urgently.