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ScotRail release plans for changes to ticket office opening hours in the north and north-east

ScotRail.
ScotRail.

ScotRail has released plans to change the hours at its staffed ticket offices which could result in shorter opening times throughout the week.

A consultation has been launched to gain the views of the public about how the proposals would affect them.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said the changes would amount to unmanned stations and a “mugger’s paradise” across the network.

The consultation, which MSP Kate Forbes has urged people to respond to, closes on February 2.

ScotRail insist there will be no job losses as part of the proposals.

What are the changes?

In the north and north-east, changes are proposed at stations including Huntly, Aviemore, Dingwall, Forres, Elgin, Keith, Kingussie and Nairn.

Many stations will have a change in the pattern of opening hours. The previous pattern was of Monday to Friday hours. That will now be replaced with Monday to Thursday hours with changes to the service on a Friday.

In documents published by ScotRail, a spokesman said opening hours for ticket offices had remained largely unchanged for 30 years.

He said: “ScotRail currently operates more than 2,000 train services through 359 stations, of which 143 have staffed ticket offices across the country.”

Changes will impact on 120 stations, but the spokesman was keen to point out that there would be no loss of jobs, saying staff would be redeployed.

He added: “A comprehensive review of ticket offices has been conducted using the relevant guidance on changes to ticket office operating hours.”

The data was collected pre-pandemic before a drastic fall in customer numbers.

The Press and Journal previously reported on a new timetable to improve services across the north and north-east.

How will it impact stations near you?

Below is a list of the current opening times and the changes that are being put forward.


Aviemore

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 9.25pm. Saturday: 7.35am to 2.39pm. Sunday: 9.40am to 5.20pm.

Proposed opening times

Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 5.30pm. Saturday: 8am to 2.30pm. Sunday: 9.40am to 5.20pm


Dingwall

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 2.35pm. Saturday: 7.40am to 2.34pm. Sunday: Closed

Proposed opening times

Monday to Thursday: 10.45am to 12.45pm. Friday: 10.15am to noon. Saturday: 10.30am to 1.30pm. Sunday: Closed


Elgin

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 6.25am to 7.30pm. Saturday: 6.25am to 7.30pm. Sunday: 10.25am to 6.05pm.

Proposed opening times

Monday to Thursday: 7am to 5pm. Friday: 7am to 6.45pm. Saturday: 6.45am to 4.15pm. Sunday: 9.45am to 4.35pm.


Forres

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 7.46am to 2.50pm. Saturday: 7.46am to 2.50pm. Sunday: Closed

Proposed opening times

Monday to Thursday: 8am to 1.15pm. Friday: 7.45am to 12.15pm. Saturday: 8.45am to 1.45pm. Sunday: Closed.


Huntly

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 7.05am to 2.09pm. Saturday: 7.05am to 2.09pm. Sunday: Closed

Proposed opening times

Monday to Thursday: 6.50am to 11.15am. Friday: 11.30am to 1pm. Saturday: 9.30am to 1pm. Sunday: Closed.


Keith

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 6.38am to 1.42pm. Saturday: 6.38am to 1.42pm. Sunday: Closed

Proposed opening times

Monday to Thursday: 9am to 10.45am. Friday: 7.45am to noon. Saturday: 9am to 1.45pm. Sunday: Closed.


Kingussie

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 8.26am to 3.30pm. Saturday: 8.26am to 3.30pm. Sunday: Closed

Proposed opening times

Monday to Thursday: 10am to 11.45am. Friday: 8.45am to 2pm. Saturday: 9am to 11.45am. Sunday: Closed.


Kyle of Lochalsh

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 9.46am to 4.50pm. Saturday: 10.14am to 5.18pm. Sunday: Closed

Proposed opening times

Monday to Friday: 9.45am to 4.15pm. Saturday: 9.45am to 4.15pm. Sunday: Closed.


Nairn

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 8.10am to 3.14pm. Saturday: 8.10am to 3.14pm. Sunday: Closed

Proposed opening times

Monday to Thursday: 8.10am to 1pm. Friday: 8.10am to 2.30pm. Saturday: 8.10am to 2pm. Sunday: Closed.


Stonehaven

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 7.10am to 6.55pm. Saturday: 8am to 3.05pm. Sunday: Closed

Proposed opening times

Monday to Friday: 7.10am to 6pm. Saturday: 8am to 3pm. Sunday: Closed.


Wick

Current opening times

Monday to Friday: 10.10am to 5.14pm. Saturday: 10.10am to 5.14pm. Sunday: Closed

Proposed opening times

Monday to Friday: 7.50am to 1.30pm. Saturday: Closed. Sunday: Closed.


Have your say

Kate Forbes MSP, for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, has urged the public to get involved and air their views.

She wrote on her social media pages: “ScotRail have launched a nationwide consultation into the future opening hours of their ticket offices.

ScotRail have launched a nationwide consultation into the future opening hours of their ticket offices. These proposals…

Posted by Kate Forbes MSP on Monday, 24 January 2022

“These proposals would directly impact Aviemore, Kingussie, Kyle of Lochalsh and Dingwall as well as other Highland stations. If you travel by train, please make your views known.”

‘Mugger’s paradise’

RMT’s general secretary Mick Lynch said he was opposed to the changes and that they  would “worsen passenger service and accessibility.

He said: “Cuts to ticket office hours will do nothing to restore passenger confidence in Scotland’s sustainable rail network which has a central role to play in delivering modal shift away from high carbon transport.

“These proposals affect nearly all of the ticket offices in Scotland and will undoubtedly worsen passenger service and accessibility as well as turning many of our stations into a mugger’s paradise.”

Mr Lynch said the operator was harming Scotland’s railway months before it was due to be taken over by the Scottish Government.

He continued: “The Scottish Government should step in and urgently retract these proposals.

“RMT is firmly opposed to ticket office closures and cuts and will be campaigning publicly and politically to oppose these short-sighted attacks on Scotland’s railway.”

For more information on the proposals click here.

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