Fringe Box



Letter: Consultation on Proposed Closure of Train Ticket Offices Ends September 1st

Published on: 27 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 27 Aug, 2023

Guildford Railway Station

From: Tony Rooth

former Independent borough councillor

See: South Western Railway announces public consultation on station change proposals

All ticket offices at Surrey stations are planned for closure.

Stations will only be staffed over limited days and times to perform platform services to passengers

These proposed closures stem from central government pressure on train operators, including South Western Railways to save money.

Tickets may now be mainly bought contactless and at self-service machines, but, as a regular train user, I can recount many examples where the closure of ticket offices disadvantages customers. Self-service machines often don’t work, and disabled travellers have difficulties buying tickets even if they do.

The lack of station staff is also a problem. Many hop on and off the train without a ticket at most stations which don’t have ticket barriers. Guildford has barriers but people can walk on and off the platforms without tickets due to a public right of way through the station.

The proposals for staffing stations are complicated, confusing and varied to say the least. It appears that Guildford will only be staffed on platforms after 12 noon seven days a week. Surely more passengers and commuters get on and off at Guildford than at Godalming which will be staffed from 5.30 am Monday to Saturday and from 7.30 am on Sunday.

London Road and Horsley will have no station staff on Sunday and Monday whereas Clandon and Worplesdon will have no staff on Friday and Saturday.

There may be practical ways to deal with this situation but the proposals smack of “putting profits before people”. The government and their rail operators’ proposals can only be meaningful if the public respond and their comments are not shunted into the sidings.

For guidance on how you can comment, click on this link: Take Action: oppose Ticket Office closures

No comments = no ticket offices. Few responses = fewer station staff.

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Responses to Letter: Consultation on Proposed Closure of Train Ticket Offices Ends September 1st

  1. Olly Azad Reply

    August 27, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    Tony Rooth makes some important points about the eventual clousures of all train stations in Surrey. Which clever clogs thought about staffing arrangements for Godalming station when Guildford serves a much bigger footfall and running many more platforms. There is no better assurance than seeing staff patrolling a railway station as opposed to self service machines which can be a real nuisance especially when they can go wrong. Take the example of self serving machines in supermarkets where on occasions when I’ve used them to pay for groceries something has invariably gone wrong and its taken an employee to correct it. Likewise, when stations in Surrey are not being served by a member of staff something similar can happen here. I fear for the elderly who would not particularly like it if there was no visible staff around and also disabled wheelchair users would find such experiences daunting. Anti social behaviour and vandalism would probably rise too with such clousures Agreed, I am sure that profits are taking precedence before any consideration is being given to the general public. Privatisation is clearly working here when the interests of rail operators is to make plenty of profits for its shareholders and the government gets away scot-free suggesting that they are delivering a much better service all round? I need not say anymore.

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