With ‘hundreds’ of ticket offices closing, operators at train stations could lose their jobs if they cannot be redeployed.

Rail bosses are in talks with unions and the government about the closures. 

The Sunday Times and BBC report  that the closures are part of a plan to ‘modernise the railways.’

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) says the announcement has come at a time when more passengers are using digital technology and is advising train companies to make rail jobs more suited to the digital lifestyles of their customers.

However, according to the Sunday Times,  even though there are plans to move staff into other ‘multifunctional’ roles within the rail firms; there is a possibility of redundancies as its sources also say that there are strategies in place to reduce taxpayer funding.

Earlier this month, train fares increased by almost 4 percent which, according to RDG figures, is the highest increase in seven years.  

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesperson said: “We have protected passengers by delaying these fare rises by two months and, even then, opting for a figure well below current inflation rates.

“However, we must now look to recoup some of the £14 billion which was spent to keep vital services running throughout the pandemic in a way that is fair for all taxpayers.”

Regarding possible ticket operator redundancies, the union for transport, the TSSA criticised the government. General secretary Manuel Cortes criticised the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps and urged the government to reconsider the plans. 

He said: “Shapps must stand up to the faceless accountants in the Treasury because a properly run and fully functioning railway is vital in building an economic recovery from Covid. 

“The government should share their plans in detail with us and commuters now if they are so sure that closing ticket offices and taking £2bn a year out of our railways is the best way forward.” 

Ticket offices at rail stations are private and run by train firms at those stations, not by Network Rail, which is owned by the government.