Carson opposes cuts to ticket office opening hours

Massive cuts to the opening hours at the ticket office at Stranraer Railway Station should be opposed says Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson.

By Brian Yule
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 11:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 5:43 pm
Finlay Carson believes the ticket office at Stranraer station plays a more important role than merely handing out tickets

A consultation process has already begun by ScotRail to reduce ticket office opening hours at 117 stations.

It is proposed that, in the case of Stranraer, it would only be open for less than a quarter of its current time.

Mr Carson said: “I do not think this is the best way forward especially at a time when we are trying to encourage people back onto public transport.

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“One of the issues I have surrounds passenger safety which I honestly believe will be put at risk by having no staff around.

“Less staff at stations such as Stranraer will potentially mean more anti-social behaviour. I know a lot of passengers feel safer knowing there is a member of staff there.”

Mr Carson also acknowledged the concerns of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.

He said: “Staff offer reassurance to older passengers who sometimes feel vulnerable as well as lone females who use the waiting room as a place of safety.

“ScotRail insist ticket vending machine s will make life easier for passengers, but they don’t offer advice on the best/ cheapest option whereas station staff often do.”

The Scottish Government confirmed train services will be run by a public sector body from the beginning of April, but details of the transition have still to be announced.

Mr Carson said: “Passengers need a commitment that fares will come down – especially in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis – yet there has been nothing forthcoming.”