Just one in 20 Melton train passengers now buys tickets from the station's ticket office

Melton Mowbray railway stationMelton Mowbray railway station
Melton Mowbray railway station
Just one in every 20 passengers, on average, buys their tickets from Melton Mowbray railway station and other stations in the region.

That figure was given by East Midlands Railway (EMR) when the Melton Times asked the company why it was proposing to close the town station’s ticket office as as part of a nationwide ‘modernisation of the industry’.

The closure plan, which we reported last week, has prompted concerns to be raised by elderly people who don’t use the internet and disabled passengers who require assistance to get on trains that their needs are being ignored.

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EMR assure vulnerable people that their needs will be supported although the current proposal is that staff will be working at the station just once a week after the ticket office is closed permanently.

Melton Mowbray railway stationMelton Mowbray railway station
Melton Mowbray railway station

An EMR spokesperson told the Melton Times today (Tuesday): “These proposed changes are aimed to bring railway staff closer to customers, better match demand with resources and ensure value for money for the taxpayer.

“The proposals would help bring station retailing up to date from the mid-1990s, when the rules on how to sell tickets were set and before the invention of the smartphone.

"Back then, over 80 per cent of all tickets were sold at ticket offices, compared to just 12 per cent nationally and less than five per cent at EMR stations on average today.”

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A consultation has been launched calling on train travellers to give their views on the impact of closing ticket offices, including the one at Melton.

A service point at Melton train station where passengers can get assistanceA service point at Melton train station where passengers can get assistance
A service point at Melton train station where passengers can get assistance

Referring to the concerns raised by elderly and disabled passengers, the spokesperson added: ““We will carry out a full Equality Impact Assessment for each individual station to make sure that the needs of vulnerable people and those with accessibility needs are protected – this will be shared with the Department for Transport as part of the Public Consultation process.

“We would like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and share their views."

When the ticket office at Melton Mowbray station closes, as expected, passengers will need to buy tickets online or via the vending machine located at the station.

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Rail worker members of the RMT union have taken strike action recently in protest, partly, over the planned closure of ticket offices and the consequent loss of jobs.

General Secretary, Mick Lynch, commented: "The decision to close up to 1,000 ticket offices and to issue hundreds of redundancy notices to staff is a savage attack on railway workers, their families and the travelling public.

"Travellers will be forced to rely on apps and remote mobile teams to be available to assist them rather than having trained staff on stations.

"This is catastrophic for elderly, disabled and vulnerable passengers trying to access the rail network.”

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Click HERE to contribute your views to the consultation before the deadline of July 26.

Details HERE on how to get assistance with train journeys at Melton Mowbray station if you are disabled or have mobility issues.