Rail ticket offices to lose staff at Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City

Hatfield station

Hatfield station - Credit: Archant

Ticket offices at Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City stations will be staffed in peak hours only in future if a shake-up by the train operator is approved.

Govia, which operates both stations and trains linking them to Cambridge and London, is redeploying staff at stations throughout its network, in a move it claims will be good for travellers.

Although ticket offices at both Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City are well used in peak hours, the company says staff would be more useful elsewhere on the station, such as on platforms, where they can help issue tickets with hand-held devices.

If the shake-up is approved by a consultation involving passenger bodies, trade unions and the Government, Potters Bar will also lose peak hour ticket office cover, but other stations in the area will be unaffected,

A Govia spokesman said: “We want to modernise the way we operate approximately 80 of our busier stations across Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink for the benefit of passengers, many of whom now buy their tickets online, or use Oyster, contactless and smartcards.

“Where sales from ticket offices are low, we want to bring staff out from behind the windows and on to the concourse to work where they’re needed most, as Station Hosts, providing assistance and helping sell tickets from ticket machines and their own handheld devices.

“All the affected stations will be staffed for longer as a result – at all but two they would be staffed from the very first train of the day to the very last, seven days a week.

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“This will drive other customer benefits – we’ll also be able to increase the opening hours of facilities passengers have told us are important, such as waiting rooms, toilets and lifts.”