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Why train stations need staffed ticket offices

·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Martin Pope/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Martin Pope/Getty Images

What is the evidence that ticket offices are unnecessary (Boris Johnson backs plans to close ticket offices as fresh rail strike talks loom, 26 June)? Boris Johnson’s reference to “ticket offices that are barely used, or sell one ticket every hour” is misleading, based on the exceptional few.

First, ticket office staff also advise the many people who only rarely use trains. Websites don’t provide guidance in a sympathetic way to people who are uncertain about their options. And ticket office staff can be crucial when trains are cancelled or there is other rail disruption and passengers need immediate advice on what to do.

Second, in smaller stations such as the one in Northallerton, ticket office staff also assist disabled passengers. If the office is closed, then it’s likely that access will be restricted for people with mobility problems. Hours have already been reduced, causing problems.
Sheila Cross
Newby Wiske, North Yorkshire

• As usual, Boris Johnson shows a lack of understanding – in this case of ticket offices. Here on the Pennines our ticket office provides a warm environment and dry seats when our draughty shelters don’t, and also a warm waiting room can be opened when the office is staffed in the mornings.

In tackling the climate crisis, we need to attract people to travel by public transport and make rail travel comfortable and, of course, affordable. On the latter, cheaper fares would be a way forward.
Rae Street
Littleborough, Greater Manchester

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