Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ticket Offices face Closure

Ticket offices at rail stations across South London face closure if the Government implements the recommendations of the McNulty Report which it commissioned. The report, "Realising the Potential of GB Rail: Report on the Rail Value for Money Study" proposes that all Category 'E' Stations should have their staffing removed. These are stations which typically only have one member of staff present - in future they would have no staff on the premises.

Together for Transport have the full list of 675 stations at risk nationally, including the following from South London:

Beckenham Hill
Carshalton Beeches
Crofton Park
Elephant & Castle
Gipsy Hill
Loughborough Junction
Lower Sydenham
Mitcham Eastfields
Mitcham Junction
North Dulwich
Queens Road, Peckham
St Johns
Sydenham Hill
West Dulwich
Woolwich Dockyard

As Together for Transport argue:

'This will cause a great deal of inconvenience to passengers who will then:

•lose the opportunity to seek advice about planning rail travel

•lose the ability to get advice about a range of ticket products including cheaper options

•lose the option to pay by cash if ticket machines - like those proposed to be installed by London Midland - only accept debit or credit cards

•lose the assurance of assistance in the event of an accident or assault'.

I have benefited from the help and advice from staff at many of the stations on that list, and have also felt reassured at their presence in some threatening situations. Some of these stations are already scary enough - they need the staffing hours increased, not decreased.

(thanks to Deptford Dame for alerting me to this on twitter)


Deptford dame said...

'The potential' in the title of the report here clearly refers to the potential for financial reward for investors, rather than the potential for improving ease of use and safety for passengers.

Anonymous said...

They should add South Bermondsey to this list- there is no facility within the station to top-up or buy a travel card on your Oyster and the nearest shop is only open from 9am-7pm...Pointless! With most people now on Oyster it begs the question of 'what is the point of the ticket office?'

On a serious note though, I think this is terrible especially for some of these stations which are a little 'remote' and may perhaps create security issues

Anonymous said...

really sad to hear this. ive been using nunhead station for over 20 years & the 2 guys in the ticket office make such a positive difference to my day. They are always patient, informative & friendly. Sometimes I can find myself being the only person on the plateform other than them - they are reassuring for a lone female traveller. What a backward step this would be!