Last day to comment on train station ticket office closures


Rail companies want to move to all tickets being purchased online, via apps or from ticket machines

Today is your last chance to have a say on the proposed closure of the ticket office at Banbury Train Station and other train stations across the country.

The consultation to review how tickets are sold will close at midnight tonight.  

Chiltern Railways wants to move to all tickets being purchased online or via mobile apps before arriving at the station. For anyone unable to do that the self-service ticket vending machines would still be available.

Existing ticket office staff would take on new, multi-skilled ‘customer host’ roles in the station.   They would be able to support customers buying tickets at the ticket machines and finding their way around.

Banbury Town Council has submitted its objection to the proposal.  A joint letter by Town Mayor Fiaz Ahmed and the Leader of the Council Kieron Mallon said: “Ticket offices don’t just sell tickets. Ticket office staff offer expert assistance in journey planning and finding the best and most economical train routes for passengers.

“Ticket office staff can ensure the appropriate concession is applied to ticket purchases, make sure the public have the correct ticket, let them know when facilities like lifts are out of use, advise on any changes to journeys that may be required, and provide or arrange for sighted guidance to navigate through the station and safely on to the train.”

But rail operators point out that 40% of the rail network already operates without a ticket office.

Jacqueline Starr, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Since the introduction of the smartphone, the numbers using ticket offices have dropped to historic lows and that trend is rapidly accelerating. For rail to survive and thrive long-term, like any responsible industry, we need to change and evolve with our customers.”

She added: “The taxpayer is continuing to subsidise the railway, and we believe that now is the right time to move staff to more flexible, engaging roles so our staff can better support customers face to face with a whole range of needs – from finding the right ticket, to navigating the station and getting support with accessibility needs, while reducing costs to taxpayers.  

“We also understand that some customers have particular challenges and they should be supported in any transition.  Over the coming weeks, we will work closely with passenger watchdogs to review and adapt individual proposals where necessary.”

The official consultation can be completed here.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

Reader's opinions
  1. Annette Dobias   On   01/09/2023 at 11:57 am

    it would be a travesty to close ticket offices and continue with HS2. keep our ticket offices open and bring back the guards.

    • R. Coles   On   01/09/2023 at 12:13 pm

      It is total discrimination against anyone, for whatever reason, that needs assistance. It is the rail operators stating ‘we do not want your custom as you are a nuisance’. I agree that the vandalism that is HS2 should be stopped immediately. Just imagine the improvements that could have been made if the money wasted on that white elephant had been used on the existing infrastructure.

    • Diane Salt   On   01/09/2023 at 2:01 pm

      please please do not close the ticket office. I was at Slough station yesterday and noticed a ticket machine was not working and the it was utter chaos.

    • Nicola Bithell   On   01/09/2023 at 5:14 pm

      There is never anyone on hand to answer questions when there are problems on the trains. At least with a ticket office there is a person available to assist passengers with queries

  2. Carole Selway   On   01/09/2023 at 12:03 pm

    Banbury ticket office is always busy – staff excellent always helpful and polite
    Informing you if your chosen ticket/route is the best for you
    I’m sure your vending machine or online purchasing facility won’t do this

  3. Jane Penfold   On   01/09/2023 at 12:38 pm

    Please don’t close this office. The staff are really helpful and always give good information regarding best ticket prices. On line doesn’t work for everybody and everything.

  4. Diane Salt   On   01/09/2023 at 2:02 pm

    please please do not close the ticket office. I was at Slough station yesterday and noticed a ticket machine was not working and the it was utter chaos.

  5. Va Boyles   On   01/09/2023 at 4:06 pm

    please do not close this ticket office we would not be able to travel as need help in purchasing a ticket not into using machine or app lot of elderly people like us would be in the same situation the people working in the ticket office are so friendly and helpful

  6. TRACEY JACKMAN   On   01/09/2023 at 4:22 pm


  7. Debbie Stuchbury   On   01/09/2023 at 5:52 pm

    Why why why, machines are never working why should be get an inferior service , keep the staff and the ticket office . The town is bad enough without there being anyone around to help if in need !!

  8. Neil Bennett   On   01/09/2023 at 7:35 pm

    This office is so effective , workers are friendly and helpful , options on machines often are inferior to the knowledge of the box office team , people not machines please

  9. Jeanette Gee   On   02/09/2023 at 5:38 pm

    Not all people have the know how etc to do this on line , me included. Absolutely against not having the great staff at Banbury.

  10. Alison Nicol   On   03/09/2023 at 10:31 am

    Please do not close the ticket office. The staff there are needed as many people have questions regarding tickets, which can’t be answered by using a machine. The machines sometimes don’t work properly and are not always straightforward to use, which will cause chaos if they are the only option- people will end up with the wrong tickets and incur finest as a result. Many elderly and disabled people will not find it easy to use a machine, and therefore a whole section of society will be sidelined, or excluded from travel. The staff at Banbury ticket office are fantastic and helpful; they are a necessity to the general public and need to stay.

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