Agenda item

Ticket Office Next Steps

To consider  the update outlining the outcome of the public consultation on Ticket Office closures and the next steps that Transport for the North intends to undertake.

Lead:  Caroline Young


5.1             In introducing this item the Chair thanked Members for the cross- party approach taken on this issue as well as the work done by Transport Focus which reflected the feeling of the public.  He also thanked the Government for listening and cancelling the proposals.


He highlighted the fact that had the proposal gone ahead, then there would have been a huge loss of staffing presence at stations with some stations in the North having no human presence at the station at any time of the day.

He emphasised the need for innovative thinking on stations regarding accessibility and service standards, leading to them being used to greater effect and benefiting communities. He believes that stations need a more devolved future, so that the possibilities can be fully realised.

5.2          Members received the report from the Rail and Road Director who highlighted the key aspects of the report.


5.3          Cllr Hinchcliffe sought assurances that some of the vacancies that the operators had been holding back pending a decision on the closures will now been released.  This will help with some of the staffing issues that are now being experienced and she enquired as to how long this will take. 


Together with Cllr Ieronimo Cllr Hinchcliffe questioned whether savings would look to be made from somewhere else within the industry.

5.4          Mayor Rotheram placed on record his thanks to the Chair for the political lead that he took on this matter which helped lead to the reversal of this decision.


5.5          The Chair stated that there must be resistance to the narrative that efficiencies need to be made.


5.6          The Rail and Road Director highlighted the growth in passenger numbers in the North, believing that this is something that is not highlighted enough.  He made specific reference to the bounce- back in Liverpool where passenger numbers are 140% of pre- Covid levels.  More generally, he stated that recovery levels across major stations in the North are better than those in London.


In response to the question on staffing, he emphasised the importance of recording staffing levels as well as available posts and stated that these figures would be captured in the December dashboard for Committee members.   


On the issue of funding, he agreed with the Committee that the proposal to close ticket offices appeared to be a cost reduction measure. He believes that this is something the Committee will need to monitor over the next year, as the status quo remains the same for 2024 where there has been no saving, but neither has there been an adverse impact. Additionally, whilst TfN is unaware of any planned cuts concern remains that cuts may be looked for elsewhere.  He assured the Committee that as soon as TfN becomes aware of any such cuts Members will be informed immediately.

5.7          The Chair requested full details mapping out the growth in the North’s railways post-pandemic as he does not want to see the revenue growth in the North being “swept back” into a general Treasury pot of funding.  Additionally, in understanding this growth it will help in understanding what revenue is coming into the North's railways and establishing what would be a fair use of that revenue .

The Rail and Road Director confirmed that this would be possible and would be reported to Committee members on a quarterly basis.

5.8          Cllr Mitchell reinforced that the best way of making stations attractive, safe and accessible is by fully integrating them with the with the local communities.


That the report be noted.

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