Jobs under threat at Doncaster rail ticket office

Ticket office staff at Doncaster railway station are amongst those who could lose their jobs in plans to switch up how passengers pay their rail fare.

Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 10:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 12:34 pm
Looking across to the station before the demolition of Gresley House (right) in the early 2000s.
Looking across to the station before the demolition of Gresley House (right) in the early 2000s.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said a third of staff at the 12 travel centres on Virgin’s East Coast line between London and Edinburgh could be axed under plans that would see staff moved out of officers and onto platforms to sell tickets.

A TSSA spokesman said around 40 people currently work at four Yorkshire sites, which include Doncaster and York.

Virgin’s plans follow union action in the capital over Govia Thameslink Railway’s plans to close more than 80 ticket offices and move staff on to station concourses.

Virgin Trains runs the main ticket desk at Wakefield Westgate station plus a small desk at the First Class lounge in Leeds.

TSSA leader Manuel Cortes said: “Virgin wants to move ticket office staff out on to ‘customer service zones’ on platforms where they will sell tickets from hand-held machines.

“Passengers will be faced with a narrower range of the cheaper tickets because hand-held machines do not offer a full service.

“This will be a recipe for travel chaos when platforms are at their busiest during peak travel times.

“We should go back to the publicly-run East Coast Main Line franchise which was a non profit-making line where passenger service was paramount.”

A Virgin Trains spokesman said it was “investing heavily” in the East Coast franchise, and had seen customer satisfaction scores rise as a result.

He added: “Of course where any of these changes affect our people we’ll consult fully with them and their representatives.”