ScotRail have announced plans to close three ticket offices and cut operating hours of 120 out of 140 offices, after a reduction in sales.
Trade union bosses have expressed anger at the decision, stating that booking offices must remain open for a “safe, secure and accessible railway for all, including the most vulnerable people within society”.
The train operating company suggested the decision was made due to a lack of business in ticket offices over the last ten years, with more passengers purchasing tickets from vending machines and online.
ScotRail have said there would be no redundancies from the move, with staff to be redeployed to help tackle fare dodging.
A consultation is to be launched on Wednesday, with stations at Clydebank, Cartsdyke, and Woodhill, to lose their ticket offices.
Reduced operating hours are to come into effect to all but ten of ScotRail’s ticket offices across Scotland.
A ScotRail spokesperson said: “Keeping a ticket office open that sells only ten tickets a day is not the best use of people.
“The changes will enable more focus on revenue protection duties.”
Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, which represents ticket office staff, said: “This is completely the wrong step for growing numbers on Scotland’s railway.
“Closing booking offices and/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.”
The Rail, Maritime, and Transport union (RMT) said: “Our position is clear – staff our stations and keep our booking offices open, for a safe, secure and accessible railway for all, including the most vulnerable people within society.”
Scotland RMT organiser Mick Hogg added: “We will oppose any cuts to station jobs and the refusal to fill vacancies.
“We will oppose closing any ticket offices across the network.”