England

Govia Thameslink station staff are latest to vote to strike

Thameslink train Image copyright PA

Britain's largest rail franchise, Govia Thameslink (GTR) is facing more industrial action after station staff voted to strike.

The RMT union said a planned ticket office reorganisation would threaten 130 jobs, pay and safety.

GTR intends to close 34 station ticket offices and staff 49 others only at peak times on Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern.

Instead "station hosts" would assist passengers around stations.

The two sides are already in a long-running dispute over the role of train conductors on Southern.

The RMT said 70% of its members voted in favour of strike action and nearly 80% supported action short of a strike. It has not yet announced any strike dates.

A GTR spokesman said only one in four (26.9%) voted for strike action with more than half of RMT station staff members ignoring the ballot.

He added: "While disappointed, we urge the union to stop this dispute and save our passengers and staff further pain by becoming part of the solution rather than the problem."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption GTR said more people were buying tickets online or with smartcard technology

Stations listed for reduced ticket office hours include Chichester, Crawley, Dorking, Huntingdon, Hove, Lewes, Reigate, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Worthing.

Ticket window closures include Alexandra Palace, Caterham, Cricklewood, Lancing, Purley and Sutton.

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