RESIDENTS have hit out at a proposal to scrap the ticket office at the recently revamped Kidderminster Railway Station.

This week, industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) unveiled plans which could lead to nearly all ticket offices being shut across the country, with facilities only remaining open at the busiest stations.

West Midlands Railway has said the proposals represent the biggest change to customer retailing since the 1990s, when 82 per cent of all tickets were sold at ticket offices, compared to just 12 per cent today.

The station in Kidderminster only recently underwent a multi-million redevelopment which included a new ticket office, which was opened in June 2020.

Now, some residents have taken to social media to share their dismay at the proposals. 

Karen Holmes said: "Humans need humans. We are not all able to use ticket machines.

"Some of us have disabilities, some are neurodiverse, some have learning difficulties, some have had strokes and need help to process the complicated process that purchasing tickets has become.

"We are not designed to interact with machines as much as we are being forced to do.

"The staff at Kidderminster are lovely and I wouldn't manage without them.

"I am dismayed by this proposal".

Kidderminster Shuttle: A new-look station was opened in 2020A new-look station was opened in 2020 (Image: Newsquest)

Pam Brookes said: "I buy my tickets from the office so will be sad to see it close, I prefer to be served by a human than a faceless machine that can't answer questions".

Julie Guest said: "Quite often the ticket machine is out of order.

"Also, it can be a minefield trying to work out fares if you aren't a regular train user.

"Often there are group deals, special discounts available which a ticket machine won't tell you but a member of staff would".

Sharon Bailes said: "This is crazy. The people in the ticket office are great. Always helpful in finding great deals when you can't work it out online.

"I don't like buying tickets from the machine".

Kathryn Dusconi-Bourne said: "This is stupid they should be there, they are needed. Keep it open". 

Tarl Cabbot said: "Given how much they spent building the place, I'm astounded that they're going to close it so soon".

Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier also shared his thoughts on the plans.

He said: "I understand that this is probably inevitable, but I can see that many people will be dismayed that the human touch is going.

"I would certainly want to see some people available to help those who need it".

A statement the West Midlands Railway website said: “Under these plans ticket offices in their current form would close over the next three years, but we would retain hub stations across the network to facilitate the evolution of retail and the multi-skilling of staff to be available where customers most need them – on platforms and concourses to help with journey planning, finding the right ticket and supporting passengers with accessibility needs.

"Mobile teams would move between stations and would be deployed to offer extra help where needed.

"Ticket vending machines will be upgraded to make sure customers can still buy the most popular tickets at stations and many staff will have hand-held devices.

"New customer ‘help’ points would also be introduced at stations as part of the proposals