TRAIN passengers have shared their thoughts on the proposal to close ticket offices in railway stations.

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) unveiled proposals that could shut nearly all offices.

It comes after Transport Secretary Mark Harper wrote to train operators asking them to cut costs.

The RDG insisted on moving ticket office staff onto station platforms, and concourses will 'modernise customer service' and pledged 'more staff available to give face-to-face help'.

There are 1,007 stations with ticket offices in England run by train companies operating under contracts issued by the UK Government.

It is unknown how quickly the first sites will close but the programme is expected to last three years.

The RDG said 12% of train tickets are bought from offices at stations, down from 82% in 1995.

Passengers will be asked to pay for journeys by tapping contactless cards on barriers, using self-service machines, or buying tickets from staff on station concourses or trains if possible.

Marie Clegg, from Kendal, who used Oxenholme's ticket office on Friday morning said: "I like the train office here because they help us. We are not very good with machines.

"I could get the ticket online but then I would have to get it out of the machine, and it is just a hassle for us, so we get the bus and get the tickets here."

Mark Haslam, travelling from Kent, said: "We travel around with trains just on holiday purposes. We use the ticket office for information, not just for tickets."

Eva, travelling from Sweden, said: "We are from abroad and we don't know where to go so to be able to talk to someone to buy the tickets is really great. For example, today, a woman was doing a complicated trip and was stressed out, and the woman working at the office helped her out.

"For elderly people, I think it is great to have ticket offices."

Dick Smith, of Lakes Line Rail User Group, said that losing the ticket office in Windermere and Oxenholme 'would be very serious.'

He said: "We have a lot of visitors coming to the Lake District via train, and for these people, the British railway ticket system can be quite a jungle, and they very much value advice and are not aware of what possible journeys they can make.

"Person-to-person advice will remain a very important part of the journey experience for many people."

Tim Farron, the South Lakes MP, has started a petition calling for ticket offices in Cumbria to be saved.

The MP said: "Railway station ticket offices are a lifeline to so many people, particularly those who are elderly, disabled or who are visitors.

"The Government must not allow the rail companies to close ticket offices at local stations like Oxenholme, Grange, Appleby, Windermere and Penrith.

"As somebody who uses the train every week, I see how busy and how well-used ticket offices are - I never go to Oxenholme station, for example, without seeing there be a queue for the ticket office for people needing advice and support."

The petition can be signed here.