Proposed changes to ticket offices

On 5 July, Avanti West Coast launched a public consultation over proposed changes to the way it sells tickets and provides customer service at stations on its network.

Passenger bodies Transport Focus and London TravelWatch led the public consultation which ended on 1 September.

The passenger bodies have now announced their views on our proposals which can be found here on the Transport Focus and London TravelWatch websites.

Following this announcement, the Secretary of State has instructed that all operators withdraw their proposals.

The proposals were part of industry plans to modernise the railway and bring it more in line with current consumer expectations. It reflects significantly reduced usage of ticket offices over the past decade as customers move to alternative, more convenient ways of buying tickets.

It was proposed that all ticket office windows at stations will close, with staff transitioning to multi-skilled Customer Ambassador roles where they would be available to give advice about the best and cheapest fares as well as supporting customers with accessibility needs.

The changes would mean a visible and accessible staff presence in stations during staffed hours, on ticket concourses and on platforms.

The proposals included stations Avanti West Coast manage on our network and our facilities at Network Rail managed stations on the West Coast Main Line where we are the lead retailer.

Under the plans, customers were still be able to access the same products and services as they do today either on our website, the Avanti West Coast app or at our stations where staff will be on hand to provide support for all ticket types. 

What would these changes have meant for you?

The aim of the proposed new Customer Ambassador role is to move our colleagues from behind the counter to be on hand to help you, creating a more visible and reassuring presence at our stations.

Those colleagues who were working in ticket offices would move to more open areas of stations, such as around the ticket vending machines (TVMs) or concourses providing you with expert ticket knowledge and support.

The proposals set out that Customer Ambassadors would be able to provide you with general travel information and be able to support your needs including using TVMs, digital ticket purchases on web or the app, as well as aftersales support.

All ticket types were to remain available at all our stations. Under the plans, if you required a specific ticket that cannot be retailed via an alternate channel, our Customer Ambassadors were to have access to a handheld ticket issuing device that can retail a full range of tickets. They will be able to accept cash payments, as well at least one TVM at each station.

The proposals also outlined that Customer Ambassadors would be available to help you with ticket purchase at key hours during the day (these may not be the same hours as now, see station specific information for details). However, there will be no changes to Avanti West Coast station staffing hours and our stations will continue to be staffed from the first train to last train.

An image of an Avanti member helping a customer in the station

Current features on our ticket vending machines

An infographic showing the features of ticket vending machines. In the center, an illustration of a person in a wheelchair and a person standing in front of a ticket vending machine. Features listed on either side of the illustration include: buying and collecting tickets, paying with cash and card, purchasing advance tickets and flexible fares, accessible and user-friendly design, multiple language options, real-time train information, seat selection, weekly and monthly season ticket purchase, Railcard and group save discounts - 14 Railcard discounts are currently available, with Dales Railcard,My Cumbria and Young Scot passes, and Manchester Airport staff railcards coming soon, smartcard collection and fulfillment, regional ranger and rover tickets - a wide variety of rangers and rovers are available on our routes, with the West Midlands Day Rangers coming soon, plus bus add-ons, boundary fares to connect with Transport for London season tickets, and scanning photocard for quick and easy season ticket purchase.

Station-by-station proposals

Choose a station below to find out more about the proposed changes, ticket sales stats and each station’s Equality Impact Assessment.

Ticket sales stats

Customers will still be able to access the same products and services as they do today either on our website, the Avanti West Coast app or at our stations where staff will be on hand to provide support for all ticket types. These are the current figures on how tickets are retailed across our network:

Ticket vending machine summary image
Pie chart showing that 3% of people use Ticket vending machines to purchase their tickets.
Ticket office summary image

Accessibility and accessible formats

We will continue to meet all our commitments on providing accessibility for passengers, including those with reduced mobility and people requiring in-person assistance. For more information visit: 

Please see the links below for the consultation information in other formats. You can also use our Accessibility Tool "ReciteMe" at the top of the page.

You can also request this information to be sent to you in accessible formats (for example, Braille or large print) by getting in touch with us online here or calling 08000 158 123 and choose option 3 (text phone 08000 158 124). This is still available even though the consultation is now closed.


British Sign Language (BSL)



Who led the consultation?

How long did the consultation last?

What happens now?