Unions rail at Greater Anglia ticket attack

Rail unions have accused Greater Anglia of a “scandalous attack” on the public and ticket office staff after the company announced plans to sell the cheapest rail tickets online only.

They fear the move forms part of a wider assault on ticket booking offices and staffing levels by reducing the number of ticket sales that can be obtained directly at stations.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Frankly this is nothing short of a scandalous attack on the travelling public. Restricting the cheapest tickets to online sales is intended to hit those older passengers and those with disabilities who may be digitally excluded.

“Our union will also resist these changes because they are tied into a real threat to staffed ticket offices. A constant erosion of work for booking office clerks will lead directly to a major reduction in staffing levels.

“Sadly, Greater Anglia are thinking of profits not public interest. We need to bring this franchise and the rest of the rail network back into public hands in order to save jobs, services and secure value for money.”

 RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It is frankly disgraceful that Greater Anglia are threatening to move their cheapest tickets to on-line only in a step that would hit the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society the hardest.

“The union is also deeply concerned that this move is bound up with a clear and present threat to both ticket office windows and the staff who run them. RMT will fight these damaging, retrograde and cash-led plans.”

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