Rail union boss Mick Lynch joined a 'Save Our Ticket Office' demonstration outside Penzance Railway Station today.

Mr Lynch, who is general secretary of the RMT, spoke about why ticket offices are so important to communities, as did Mayor of Penzance Stephen Reynolds.

Penzance Council have already said they will do everything in their power to oppose the closure of the ticket office.

The campaign to keep the office open has also been backed by MP Derek Thomas and Cornwall councillor Andrew George.

The demonstration outside Penzance Train Station
The demonstration outside Penzance Train Station (Penzance Council)

Mr Lynch said: "Our union is taking our campaign to save ticket offices out into every town, city and village in this country.  

"The recent announcements of ticket office closures is a fig-leaf for the whole-scale de-staffing of stations, including safety critical train dispatch, safety critical train despatch staff, passenger assistance and other non-ticket office customer service workers.  

"Ticket office closures under Schedule 17 means there will be no regulations on staffing levels at stations whatsoever.  

"Train operators will then be free to staff or de-staff any station to whatever level they choose.  

"Our union and the travelling public do not want a de-humanised railway that will be a rife with crime and anti-social behaviour, inaccessible to the most vulnerable. 

 "We will fight these plans all the way and need the public's support in joining our campaign and taking part in the consultation."  

Train companies say the changes will allow staff to help more customers with a wider range of issues, including helping them to buy tickets, wherever they are on the station, with staff transitioning into multi-skilled roles.

They argue that nationally only 12 per cent of tickets were sold at station offices last year, with the rest bought online or from vending machines.

People can have their say on the consultation at https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/ticket-office-consultation/