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Union criticises proposal to cut Perthshire railway station booking office opening hours

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dailyrecord.co.uk

A transport workers union has criticised a move proposed by ScotRail to cut the number of hours station booking offices stay open including one in Perthshire.The company has opened a consultation on changes it wants to make that would see booking offices up and down the country close earlier in the day, some stay shut on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays and at least three closed for good.The proposals could see offices in places like Leuchars shut more than three hours earlier on weekdays if they are put into effect.And they include a suggestion that the booking office at Pitlochry Station be closed from 5pm every day of the week.

It is currently open to travellers from 8.05am to 6.30pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10.40am to 6.20pm on Sundays.Manuel Cortes of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association said this week of the plans: “This is completely the wrong step for growing numbers on Scotland’s railway.“Closing booking offices or reducing their opening hours is a retrograde step.“Booking office staff don’t just sell tickets, they help passengers on and off the trains and they keep stations safe for passengers – by salting and gritting platforms at this time of the year and by discouraging anti-social behaviour.“ScotRail’s plans will make the railways feel less safe, particularly for women, especially in the darker months, and will result in an increase in anti-social behaviour.“They will put people off travelling on Scotland’s railways, reducing fares revenue which could be invested in the railway, and cut the services Scottish passengers get.”Phil Campbell, head of customer operations at ScotRail, said: “There has been no real review of our ticket office opening hours for 30 years, and it is important we keep up

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