All of the Isle of Wight's train station ticket offices are proposed to close following an announcement by South Western Railway today (Thursday).

Posters will be displayed at almost all stations in England and on operators’ websites from today (July 5), inviting passengers to respond to consultations on the changes.

South Western Railway (SWR) has confirmed it is proposing to close all ticket offices across its network, including both Shanklin station and the new Ryde Esplanade train station.

The railway operator is aiming to provide more face-to-face support to customers, including the Island Line.

Isle of Wight County Press: New look of Ryde Esplanade StationNew look of Ryde Esplanade Station (Image: EMRC)

Watchdogs Transport Focus will consider the impact on passengers’ ability to buy tickets, staffing levels at stations and services for disabled people. 

No closures are expected to take place before the autumn.

SWR said that over the past decade, it has seen significantly reduced usage of ticket officers as customers move to ‘more convenient’ ways of buying tickets. 

Of the 12 per cent of tickets bought at ticket offices nationwide last year, SWR says an estimated 99 per cent could have been bought using a ticket vending machine or online.

Under the new changes, on Mondays and Sundays, Shanklin Train Station will be unstaffed and will only be staffed on Tuesdays to Fridays for the four hours between 6am – 10am.

Meanwhile, on Saturdays, staff will be on-site from 9am – 1pm.

At Ryde Esplanade, the proposed changes will see staff on hand between 6am – 7pm daily.

Claire Mann, SWR managing director, said: “Our station colleagues play a vital role in delivering a positive customer experience. This proposal recognises their talent and dedication by opening up opportunities for career progression and comprehensive re-skilling.

“By multi-skilling our colleagues, we can offer a customer service that aligns with what customers actually want and need, in line with their expectations from modern retailing.

“Technology has already enabled significant change at our stations, with 75 per cent of passenger journeys made using smart media today. Our proposal simply seeks to build on these existing trends.

“We are consulting widely on our proposals and welcome feedback to help ensure a smooth transition to a more modern, customer focussed experience at our stations.”