Salisbury is slated to be one of 153 stations on the South Western Railway (SWR) network to see changes in staffing and ticket vending practices.

SWR announced on Wednesday, July 5 that a public consultation on the proposals will run until Wednesday, July 26.

SWR said in a statement that “the proposed changes would help modernise station retailing for the first time since the rules on how to sell tickets were set, well before the invention of the smartphone.”

The proposals would see a reduction in staff across dozens of stations and the closure of all ticket offices, which SWR said has been made possible by generational changes in customer behaviour.

SWR said the remaining colleagues would be trained to become multi-skilled in assisting customers and the changes would offer “more face-to-face support for customers, greater visibility of colleagues throughout stations, and a higher proportion of colleagues trained to support customers with their retail choices.”

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Under the proposals, all 190 SWR stations would be classed into four categories.

Salisbury would be in Category 1, meaning the station would have “colleagues with full retailing capability and expertise available to support retail choices and other customer needs until full transition to digital retail.”

No category below Category 1 would retain full retail capability.

The nearest station to Salisbury classed as Category 2 would be Andover. SWR defined stations in this category as having “multiple colleagues available to support retail choices and other customer needs.”

Tisbury Railway Station would be classed as Category 3, with the same services available as those in Category 2, but with only one employee present to assist customers.

Category 4, which would include Dean and Grately, are stations that are currently unstaffed and would not see any changes in service.

Of the stations slated to see changes, approximately 63% would be classed as Category 3, leaving one employee available at each station to assist customers.

All stations would have ticket vending machines under the proposals.

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Claire Mann, managing director of South Western Railway, said: “Our station colleagues play a vital role in delivering a positive customer experience. This proposal recognises their talent and dedication by opening up opportunities for career progression and comprehensive re-skilling.

“By multi-skilling our colleagues, we can offer a customer service that aligns with what customers actually want and need, in line with their expectations from modern retailing.”

Members of the public can respond to the public consultation by contacting Transport Focus here.

Consultation comments regarding stations in the London area are being handled by London TravelWatch, which can be contacted here.