Avanti West Coast Ticket Vending Machine

UPDATE: Avanti West Coast consultation on the future of ticket retailing has ended

Public consultation on future of ticket retailing across Avanti West Coast network now concluded

  • Public consultation launched on plans to modernise customer service across the rail network
  • Employees would move out of ticket offices into public areas of stations
  • Proposals mean more face-to-face support available across the network to choose the cheapest tickets, advise on journey planning, and support those with accessibility needs  

UPDATE - Sept 1

The public consultation reviewing how tickets are sold  ended at midnight on September 1.  

Full details of the proposals and the public consultation can be found here: http://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/consultation and http://raildeliverygroup.com/customer-focused-stations


UPDATE - July 26:

Train operators including Avanti West Coast are extending the time available to respond to the public consultation reviewing how tickets are sold at stations by an extra five and a half weeks.

It means passengers will now have until 1 September to complete the consultation, by visiting  www.transportfocus.org.uk  or www.Londontravelwatch.org.uk  

Full details of the proposals and the public consultation can be found here: http://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/consultation and http://raildeliverygroup.com/customer-focused-stations


July 5 – Original press release:

A public consultation on the future of ticket retailing across the Avanti West Coast network has been launched today (5 July) as part of industry plans to modernise customer service.

The proposals, which will be subject to a 21-day public consultation, will see the creation of a new multi-skilled “Customer Ambassador” role to provide advice and support on buying tickets and accessibility needs.  

Part of the proposed plans will see the closure of Avanti West Coast ticket offices with a greater proportion of staff in public areas of stations to provide assistance and reassurance to customers. These industry-wide proposals represent the biggest update to customer retailing since 1995.

Back in the mid-1990s, 82% of all tickets were sold at ticket offices, compared to just 12% on average today. This approach follows many other industries who have responded to the changes in customer behaviour, including Transport for London, most airlines and supermarkets.

At some of Avanti West Coast’s managed stations such as Birmingham International, employees already assist customers at ticket vending machines (TVMs) in roles similar to the ones being proposed.

Members of the public are being asked for their views on the consultation – which is being managed by Transport Focus and London TravelWatch – on the suggested plans for ticket retailing at the train operator’s 16 managed stations, as well as its ticket offices at Network Rail stations London Euston, Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Central, where Avanti West Coast is the lead retailer.

The proposal is that changes are phased in over three years. To support the transition, ticket offices at these Network Rail stations, as well as Preston and Carlisle, will remain open short-term for customers who have complicated ticket queries which cannot currently be dealt with online or at a TVM.

Alongside the public consultation on ticket offices, a range of options for employees affected will be discussed. These will include moving employees to the new Customer Ambassador role, re-training and re-skilling. Train companies will continue to engage constructively with unions at a local level to manage the outcome of the consultations and any subsequent transition.

Avanti West Coast will also be consulting with its industry leading Facebook accessibility group about the proposals and all its accessibility panels.

Managing Director of Avanti West Coast, Andy Mellors, said: “It is important for the rail industry to change the way it retails tickets as customer behaviour has evolved over the last three decades.

“Our proposals would mean more staff on hand to give face-to-face help with a much wider range of needs, from journey planning, to finding the right ticket and helping those with accessibility needs.

“Our commitment is that we will always treat our people fairly, with support and extra training to move in to new and varied roles with a number of responsibilities without compromising on the safety of them or our customers.

“We also understand that our customers have differing needs which is why we will be consulting with accessibility groups on this consultation.”

The public consultation is being managed by independent rail watchdogs Transport Focus and London TravelWatch.

For more information about how to have their say, passengers should go to www.transportfocus.org.uk or londontravelwatch.org.uk

Full details of the proposals and the public consultation can be found here: http://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/consultation and http://raildeliverygroup.com/customer-focused-stations


Contact Information

Press Desk

Avanti West Coast


Notes to editors

Notes to Editors

As part of the public consultation, local train companies will notify the passenger watchdogs of their proposals, and post notices at stations advising passengers of the same. Customers will be invited to write to the watchdogs with their views, who will then be able to raise objections to the proposals with the operator concerned.

Stations, where Avanti West Coast are the lead retailer, which are subject to consultation are:

  • Birmingham International
  • Carlisle
  • Coventry
  • Crewe
  • Lancaster
  • Macclesfield
  • Oxenholme Lake District
  • Penrith North Lakes
  • Preston
  • Rugby
  • Runcorn
  • Stafford
  • Stockport
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Warrington Bank Quay
  • Wigan North Western
  • London Euston (Network Rail managed station)
  • Manchester Piccadilly (Network Rail managed station)
  • Birmingham New Street (Network Rail managed station)
  • Glasgow Central (Network Rail managed station)

About Avanti West Coast   

Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.

We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel. Our refurbed Pendolinos are returning to the rails, with a £117m investment that’s delivering best in class comfort. Rebuilt using sustainable materials wherever possible, including tables made from recycled plastic bottles, our upgraded fleet offers 25,000 brand new seats, free Wi-Fi, onboard recycling and much more.

New Hitachi trains are set to replace our Voyager trains from 2023, leading to a 61% cut in carbon emissions. Quieter and roomier, with more reliable Wi-Fi, wireless charging for electrical devices and a real-time customer information system, the new 23-strong fleet is the result of a £350m investment in sustainable travel.

We’re tackling climate change wherever we can, from reducing energy and water use to training drivers in eco-driving techniques and sourcing food and drink from local suppliers. Our goal is to be net zero carbon by 2031. We’re on track.

For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Centre: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/

Press Office: 0845 000 3333