The Government's decision to close all railway ticket stations has been blasted as "weak"

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has unveiled proposals which could lead to nearly all offices being shut.

This includes those at some of the UK’s busiest stations, such as London Euston, London Waterloo, Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly.

Across London, Govia Thameslink Railway are proposing the closure of some 65 stations, and Southwestern Railway another 35.

The Green Party's Siân Berry, Highgate councillor and London Assembly Member, is calling on people to send in their concerns about proposed ticket office closures.

Cllr Berry said:  "The government's justification for its decision to close ticket offices is weak.

"They should be supporting access to rail travel, not adding barriers for travel. These closures would cut jobs and the level of service when our railways need improvement more than ever.

"A staffed ticket office is important to supporting rail travel - not just buying a ticket but also for organising assistance such as ramps for those who need them.

"Nobody who has ever used a cumbersome ticket machine in a station would believe it can replace a friendly ticket office - particularly when you need a ticket changed or refunded."

The RDG move comes after Transport Secretary Mark Harper wrote to train operators asking them to cut costs.

Stations without ticket offices already make up 43% of those operating across the UK.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said in 2022/23 1 in 10 transactions occurred at a ticket office, down from 1 in 3 a decade earlier and that 99% of the transactions made at ticketing offices last year could have been made online.

A DfT spokesperson added: “These industry-led consultations are about enhancing the role of station workers and getting staff out from behind ticket office screens and into more active, customer-facing roles that will allow them to better support all passengers.

"This is not about cutting jobs - no station which is currently staffed will be unstaffed as a result of these proposed reforms.

"We have been consistently honest about the need for our railways to modernise if they are going to survive.

"Reviewing the role of ticket offices – with the least busy selling only one ticket an hour – is a crucial part of this."