Image of the exterior of Warrington Bank Quay train station.

Warrington Borough Council has stated its strong opposition to the proposed closure of more than 1,000 railway station ticket offices across the country, which is combined with huge reductions in the hours of coverage of staff.


The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has announced plans for the removal 1,007 of England’s ticket offices within three years, as part of plans to ‘modernise the railway’. A three-week consultation on the plans began on 5 July.

In Warrington, ticket offices earmarked for closure are those at Warrington Bank Quay, Warrington West, Birchwood and Glazebrook stations. While the ticket office at Warrington Central is one of a small number proposed to remain open, its opening hours are to be reduced from 15 to 12 hours a day from Monday to Saturday and from 12 to 8 hours a day on Sundays.

It is proposed that staff currently working in ticket offices are reassigned to ‘Journey Maker’ roles, where they have a presence throughout the station to be able to provide all forms of assistance to passengers.

Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for transport, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: “We have serious concerns about these rushed plans, which seem to be far more about cutting costs than improving the experience of customers. The mass closure of our ticket offices would have a huge impact on some of our most vulnerable passengers, which is not acceptable.

“While we accept that fewer people choose to buy tickets at ticket offices these days, face-to-face contact and support still remains hugely important for many people. We are particularly concerned at the massive reductions in staff coverage proposed for a number of our stations, where staff currently play such an important role to be able to assist and provide assurance for passengers.

“The substantial reduction in the hours of coverage of the proposed Journey Maker staff compared to the hours currently provided by ticket office staff is completely unacceptable. These reductions would affect all of Warrington’s staffed stations, with Warrington West and Birchwood stations particularly badly affected. Staff that are present currently for between 16-18 hours a day would only be available for 2-5 hours a day, if these proposals go ahead.

“We believe this move will disproportionately affect our residents who most need help getting out and about on our rail network – including elderly passengers, people with disabilities and the digitally excluded who are unable to transact online.

“We are not at all convinced that sufficient pre-engagement work has been done with our most vulnerable residents. Furthermore, the consultation period of only 21 days is simply not enough time to sufficiently canvass the views of the public. We would expect a consultation of this magnitude to last for at least 8 and ideally 12 weeks.

“Warrington Bank Quay station and all of our other stations are important and busy places, and the hardworking ticket office staff do so much more than issue tickets. They provide invaluable advice and support for the people who need it most and answer a range of queries, without which many customers would find their journeys far more stressful and difficult.

“As a council, we will be strongly opposing these proposals. If you would like to help stop these plans and save Warrington’s ticket offices, please make sure you express your concerns on the Rail Delivery Group’s website, or share your views with your local MP or the council.”


Notes to Editors