STAFF at six railway stations across the region could lose their jobs under a proposed cull of 675 ticket offices. Branksome, Hamworthy, Lymington Town, Parkstone, Pokesdown and Wool are all at risk and could be left unstaffed if the cutback goes ahead.

Unions are warning that replacing ticket offices with machines will leave passengers feeling less safe and having problems buying tickets.

Stations that could be scrapped under the government report, predicting annual savings of £1billion, are ones that open their offices for less than 10 hours a day and serve fewer than 250,000 passengers a year.

Each employs at least one or two ticket office staff, so the closures would spell more than 1,000 job losses nationwide, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association is warning.

It is calling on transport secretary Philip Hammond to reject the “draconian” cuts and have launched an SOS – Save our Station ticket offices – campaign.

Mr Doherty said: “This is a double whammy for millions of passengers.

Last month they were told that fares will rise by 25 per cent over the next three years, and they are now set to lose one in four ticket offices.

“Not only are unmanned stations less secure, tickets bought from machines are usually more expensive.”

The government is expected to respond to the report next month.

Train companies have to get permission from the Department for Transport to close a ticket office, but the union said the report was recommending that this requirement should go.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said the “ticket office massacre” should be a wake-up call to the public.

“These cuts would de-staff stations and turn the rail network into a criminals’ paradise,” he said.

The hit list includes 265 stations in London and the South East.