3 March 2022
RMT Press Office:
Ahead of a meeting with the Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth MSP, RMT calls on the Scottish Government to listen to passengers and reject the cuts to ScotRail ticket offices.
Ahead of a meeting between the trade unions and the Scottish Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth MSP today, Thursday 3rd March, Rail Union RMT has written to the Minister to call for a commitment that her Government will halt the proposed cuts to ticket offices, the majority of which are still under threat, despite the spin from operator ScotRail.
In his letter to the Minister, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch highlighted the ‘overwhelming opposition’ to the cuts expressed by passengers and stakeholders in response to the public consultation, with just 1% of the 1550 respondents not opposing the proposals.
The letter goes on to say that despite this opposition ‘at the majority of stations, ScotRail is proposing to go ahead with nearly all of its original proposals to cut ticket office hours.’ In fact, out of the original proposals to cut around 3000 hours a week, Scotrail are only proposing to reinstate 33 ticket office hours and plans to remove staff from ticket offices, often at night, which will make passengers and staff much more vulnerable to anti-social behaviour and assaults, risking safety, security and accessibility.
The letter goes on to say that:
“These cuts risk making many stations no-go zones at night and are completely at odds with the Scottish Government’s stated agenda for ScotRail and public transport in Scotland.”
The letter concludes that “with ScotRail entering public ownership in a matter of weeks, it is clear that the Scottish Government is in the driving seat” and calls on the Scottish Government to “listen to the overwhelming opposition raised as part of the public consultation and halt all of the proposed cuts.”
General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“The new Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth MSP has told the trade unions that she is in ‘listening mode’. RMT is therefore urging her to listen to the overwhelming opposition and concerns raised by passengers, disabled groups, local communities, trade unions and others in relation to the proposed cuts to ScotRail ticket offices.
“Despite its spin, ScotRail is still doggedly planning to plough ahead with the vast majority of cuts. In fact, out of the original proposals to cut around 3000 hours a week, ScotRail are only proposing to reinstate 33 ticket office hours. With just weeks to go until the franchise enters public ownership, it is absolutely clear that the Scottish Government has the responsibility to reject these damaging cuts, which risk making many stations ‘no-go’ zones for large parts of the day and would make a mockery of the Scottish Government’s ‘National Conversation’ on ScotRail.
“Later today, RMT officials are meeting with the Minister and at this meeting RMT will be seeking a firm commitment that the Scottish Government will halt all of the cuts to ScotRail ticket offices and instead work collaboratively with the trade unions on building a properly funded, fully staffed, sustainable and affordable rail network in Scotland.”