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RMT demands more staff at railway station ticket offices

The UK's biggest rail workers' union is calling for a halt to the closure of ticket offices and staffing cuts after claiming almost half of all stations are unstaffed.

The UK’s biggest rail workers’ union is calling for a halt to the closure of ticket offices and staffing cuts after claiming almost half of all stations are unstaffed.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said its research found only 10% of railway stations were fully staffed.

Around 45% of stations were only staffed for part of the day and a similar proportion were totally unstaffed, the union said. The rail industry said more staff are employed than 20 years ago.

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Stations across England, Wales and Scotland, used by hundreds of thousands of passengers every year, were among those with no staff, the union claimed.

“Violence on the railways is soaring, yet the private train companies continue to close ticket offices and cut staffing at stations.”

The union called on the Government to reverse “damaging” cuts to station and ticket office staffing.

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RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It has never been more apparent that the privatised and fragmented railway has failed to deliver an affordable, accessible and reliable service for passengers.

“Violence on the railways is soaring, yet the private train companies continue to close ticket offices and cut staffing at stations.

“RMT is calling on the Government to prove that it is serious about improving the rail passenger experience.”

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A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, representing rail companies, said: “By working together to run more and better services, train operators are now able to employ over 50% more people than 20 years ago.

“Britain’s railway remains one of the safest in the world and crime rates are low but we are working with the British Transport Police to tackle any antisocial or violent behaviour by investing in new technology like body-worn cameras for front-line staff and encouraging the reporting of crime.”

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Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...