three-week public session on plans to shut practically all railway station ticket workplaces in England is anticipated to be prolonged, the chairman of Community Rail has mentioned.
Prepare operators unveiled proposals earlier this month for mass closures of station ticket workplaces after Transport Secretary Mark Harper urged them to chop prices.
Session on the plans was introduced on July 5 by the Rail Supply Group (RDG), which mentioned workers would transfer out of ticket workplaces, adopting new “buyer assist” roles already in place on many components of the railway.
The RDG mentioned the proposals would imply extra face-to-face help was obtainable throughout the community to decide on the most affordable tickets and advise on journey planning, in addition to help these with accessibility wants.
The plans have drawn fierce criticism from teams representing passengers and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).
Talking at Birmingham’s New Road station on Wednesday, after stories the session could also be prolonged till September, Community Rail chairman Lord Peter Hendy mentioned: “I believe you’ll discover in an hour or two that the session goes to be prolonged.”
He advised BBC Breakfast: “Whether it is, that’s a extremely good factor for our clients as a result of the railway must hearken to its passengers and the individuals who use it.
“I hope that that’s the case. I believe that’s what you would possibly discover is introduced, and whether it is that’s one other better, longer alternative for individuals to say what they assume.
“I do know that folks will hear and I believe the extension of the session is an indication that really Authorities and the operators wish to hear extra from passengers.
“There are clearly some loud voices – I’ve seen a few of them on the media this morning.”
Lord Hendy’s feedback got here a day after RMT normal secretary Mick Lynch claimed railway staff are being threatened with disciplinary motion for sporting stickers as a part of their marketing campaign to avoid wasting ticket workplaces from closure.
Writing to coach operator LNER, Mr Lynch mentioned: “I’ve acquired very disturbing stories from members at your organization who’re being threatened by managers with disciplinary motion and being despatched dwelling with out pay on account of them sporting ‘save our ticket workplaces’ stickers.
“Threatening workers who’re preventing for his or her very futures and for the companies they supply on this approach is a fairly disgraceful tactic to make use of and I can advise you that any strikes to self-discipline any RMT member for having a easy assertion on a sticker can be met with a full industrial response.
“If a real and significant session course of actually is to be adopted on this course of, then absolutely this would come with permitting the very workers whose future employment is threatened to voice their opinions.”