AROUND a dozen activists protested for two hours outside Newton Abbot Railway station, lobbying passengers about the proposed closure of Newton Abbot ticket office and giving out leaflets calling on people to respond to the public consultation by September 1.
Among them was Mike Puleston, of Newton Abbot, who said: 'I spoke with one of the ticket office staff during the protest, who reported that the three staff on duty were very busy from 9am till noon with a long queue of families and children inquiring about aspects of travel and buying tickets and railcards.
'The same member of staff described a medical emergency in the ticket office foyer just a couple of days ago when a member of the public suffered a serious fit requiring the area to be closed while staff provided attention and liaison with emergency services.
'Several passengers commented that they were appreciative that there were staff around to provide assistance.'
Local RMT activist Lee Rundle, who organised the protest, said: 'It's a case of looking after our local communities by keeping these ticket offices open.'
'The offices provide a safe space for both staff and passengers because they know someone will be there.
'Staffed ticket offices give extra information and get the best deals which ticket machines obviously cannot.
'In my eyes they are closing offices purely in the name of profits'
Mike added: 'A staff member who had just finished a shift as a train dispatcher informed me that there are apparently nine out of the 22 staff currently employed at Newton Abbot earmarked for redundancy and that the gateline (barrier) staff will work reduced hours which will encourage non paying passengers out of hours.
'He was also concerned about the current level of assaults on staff members at various stations locally, the staff member themselves having been assaulted last year. '
Local Lib Dem councillor Jackie Hook and Teignbridge Parliamentary candidate Martin Wrigley were also present to support the protest.
Find out more at
Great Western Railway LIVE https://act.newmode.net/action/trades-union-congress/save-your-great-western-railway-ticket-offices