Rail operator Northern says it won't close ticket offices - but that they may stop selling tickets

Train operator Northern has said it will keep ticket offices open, but that they may stop selling tickets.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 9:38 am
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 10:38 am
Leeds Station

The firm, which could be renationalised over its poor performance, said the function of its staffed offices is likely to change across its network.

Northern's stakeholder manager Pete Myers told a public meeting that more train tickets are being bought on mobile phones.

As a result, he said, staff were more likely to be employed to give travel information instead.

Are the days of railway staff selling tickets at stations coming to an end?

Mr Myers made the statement in response to a question from a member of the public at a meeting with passenger representatives in Wakefield on Thursday.

Asked about the availability of tickets at some stations, he said: "We have no intention of cutting ticket offices. I can say that because it's true.

"But we do have to understand that the need for ticket offices will change.

"It will be less about selling tickets and more about giving advice.

"That's the way we look at it, because the number of sales through mobile phones has increased.

"So the use of them will change, but we have no intention of closing them."

Mr Myers also addressed Northern's latest punctuality figures, which he admitted were "not as encouraging as they might have been".

Around 84 per cent of the franchise's trains turned up within five minutes of its expected arrival time during the summer.

Explaining the reasons behind that, he said: "There's still a lot of delays on the other side of the Pennines, which have had a knock-on effect on the Leeds side.

The performance is better than this time last year, but last year was lousy."

Local Democracy Reporting Service