I have received the update below from Great Western regarding the proposed changes to ticket offices. They have said that they have made a number of key changes to their proposals based on some of the responses they have seen from the consultation although the final results are not yet in.
Just a quick note to remind you that Transport Focus and London TravelWatch will be reporting back on their consultation on how tickets are sold at stations next Tuesday (31 October).
We will send a further update then, but we thought it would be helpful to send a reminder and a quick update on the work we have been doing in the meantime.
We have been listening to stakeholders and colleagues and to Transport Focus and London TravelWatch who have been sharing key themes from the consultation, and as a result we have made a number of key changes to our proposals:
- Digital First, Not Only: We have changed our proposals so that retail trained staff will have handheld sales devices to support self-service ticket machines. This means customers will still find every type of ticket they can get today at a station in the future and staff will be available to help with ticket advice if needed. In addition, we will upgrade our ticket machines to sell a wider variety of tickets and more tickets will become digitally available. Staff will also be able to help switch to buying digitally via our app or other options like pay-as-you-go/CPAY
- Staffing Hours: We are extending our staffing commitment so that retail trained colleagues will be on hand for the same hours as today at all stations with a ticket office, ready to help customers when they need it
- ‘Help at Hand’ Points: We have proposed the introduction of accessible, clearly marked Welcome Points with ‘Help at Hand’ buttons providing a direct link to a retail-trained staff member should they not be immediately available
- Cash availability: We are proposing to add cash payment options to our self-service Ticket Vending Machines
We have also looked at the timing of the changes. Before any change is made, we will first need to agree our revised plans with the Department for Transport, we will then discuss the changes with our colleagues and their Trade Unions, complete updated Equality Impact Assessments for each station and a Crime and Vulnerability Risk Assessment.
Once this is complete, we propose to reduce the number of windows available at stations with multiple windows, bringing those staff closer to customers on the station floor. They will help customers use self-service machines, or digital purchase, while also helping with any queues for tickets with their handheld ticket devices. We will review progress before making further changes, including bringing staff from single window stations out from behind the glass, with handheld devices, and the pace of change will be driven by changes that customers make in how they buy their tickets.
Great Western Railway