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Letter: Proposals for Rail Ticket Office Closures Run Ahead of Demand

Published on: 28 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 29 Aug, 2023

Guildford Station Ticket Office

From: Mark Worley

In response to: Consultation on Proposed Closure of Train Ticket Offices Ends September 1st

The proposals for ticket office closures run far ahead of the actual reduction in ticket office use and will cause real hardship and distress to so many passengers.

I believe the train operating companies are just going through the motions of making these proposals to placate the government with little expectation that they will actually happen. I’m not complacent about this though and recommend that everyone who is concerned should participate in the consultation.

Some years ago, as a London Underground manager, I was party to a ticket office closure programme which also ran far ahead of changes in demand. This did actually go through, with some short-term problems but, of course, the Underground fare structure is very much simpler than that of the national railway.

The proposal for Guildford station staffing times is not very clear but my interpretation is that it will remain staffed around the clock, as will Woking. Staffing of some smaller stations on different days of the week is bizarre and seems to be based on the convenience of rostering staff.

Without getting into the rights and wrongs of the current strikes and the best organisational structure going forward, the National Railway is in complete disarray at the moment and providing poor value for public money. This is so sad to see particularly in view of the need for us to use public transport more to mitigate climate change.

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Responses to Letter: Proposals for Rail Ticket Office Closures Run Ahead of Demand

  1. Keith Francis Reply

    August 28, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    Yes, Mark Worley is correct an “official” one-minute toilet break about midnight at Guildford and Woking.

    But here at Bookham railway station, following the Mole Valley District Council agreed “improvement” to the toilets, the toilets, including the “accessible” one will only be available to the public when there is a (very) part-time SWR staff member present to unlock the outer toilet door – so that’s not on Mondays.

    Bookham has the seven-days a week 479 bus service so whether the Falcon bus drivers will in future be provided with a key to enable them to use the toilets remains to be seen.

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