AVANTI West Coast has said it is proposing to slash the number of staff it has at Glasgow Central station by more than a third as part of plans to close its ticket office there.

It comes as key railway figures spoke to MPs about the consultation into proposals for a widespread closure of railway station ticket offices primarily located in England. Glasgow Central is the sole Scottish office affected by the plans.

More than 680,000 responses were submitted to the consultation, which ended on September 1. The exercise has been branded a "sham" by RMT chief Mick Lynch.

The National: Rail, Maritime and Transport union general secretary Mick Lynch has criticised the move (Lucy North/PA)

On Wednesday at the Commons Transport Select Committee, the managing director of Avanti West Coast defended the proposals to axe the office at Glasgow's largest station.

Andy Mellors told MPs: “We have about 27 staff, I think it is, at the moment at Glasgow Central.

“These proposals would, if they were enacted in full as we proposed, reduce that number by about nine or 10.

“I must stress that we are only one of the organisations that provides customer support and presence at that station.”

He added that the proportion of Avanti West Coast journeys made from Glasgow Central using a ticket bought from its office at the station is 1%.

Earlier, Lynch condemned railway bosses' approach to the consultation. 

READ MORE: Avanti West Coast ordered to give passengers more notice to book tickets

He told MPs: “We think the whole thing has been a sham designed to be rammed through while people were looking the other way.

“It all goes back to the Secretary of State (Mark Harper, below). The Secretary of State initiated these changes through the contracts he has with the TOCs (train operating companies).

The National: The package was confirmed as Transport Secretary Mark Harper appeared at the Ukraine Recovery Conference (Hannah McKay/PA)

“He directs everything they do these days, every letter that’s sent, he gets access to.

“Of course, if the watchdogs object (to the closures) on the limited basis they’re allowed to, the decision will end up with him as well.

“It’s a controlled show. The whole thing is designed so that they can force this through in a way that they want.”