NORTHERN Railway are remaining tight-lipped on the future of Hexham train station's ticket office weeks after the consultation period has ended.

The ticket offices could be one of many to close depending on the outcome of a consultation that ended last month.

The transport company held the consultation to try and repurpose travel centres which will help them meet customers' demands.

Depending on the outcome, ticket offices will be closed in phases over an 18-month period.

Although the ticket office could be closing, a new multi-skilled Journey Maker role will be put in its place.

They will be available from Monday to Fridays 9am-12pm and 10am until 3.30pm on Saturdays to help with any customer enquiries.

Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern, said: “Across all business sectors the way people consume, access and purchase products and services has changed. Rail is no different - only 1 in 6 journeys on Northern services are purchased through a ticket office, this compares to almost half of all journeys in 2018. We need to modernise to meet the changing needs of our customers and we are seeking views from the public on these proposals.

“Along with the rest of the rail industry, Northern has shared proposals on how we plan to change how we support customers at our stations. These proposals include the creation of a new, more visible customer facing role that will offer a wider range of support across our stations. This new role will mean that the traditional ticket office is no longer required at most staffed Northern stations, except for 18 at hub locations, that will have amended ticket office opening hours.'

During the consultation, Watchdogs Transport Focus and London TravelWatch received more than 680,000 responses about the train operator's proposals to close the majority of ticket offices in England before it ended on Friday, September 1.

Over the coming weeks, the watchdogs will continue to analyse the train operator proposals and public consultation responses before responding to train operators by October 31.

Transport Focus and London TravelWatch will publish the response to each train company’s proposals online with an overview of the number of responses received, and the main issues raised in the consultation.

If the watchdogs object, the train company can refer its proposal to the Secretary of State for a final decision.

The Department for Transport has published guidance which sets out the approach the Secretary of State will take if this happens.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:“I am grateful to all who have taken the time to contribute to the consultation and their views will form a vital part of the process as we move towards our response.

“With more than half a million responses received, we’ll review them and the train company proposals to assess whether or not they will improve the quality of service for passengers according to our criteria.”