17 September 2012
The Campaign for Better Transport has voiced disappointment at the Department for Transport's decision to allow four ticket offices to close. The four ticket offices earmarked for closure, all served by London Midland, are Lye, Witton and Wythall in the West Midlands, and Cheddington in Buckinghamshire.
Richard Hebditch, Campaigns Director of the Campaign for Better Transport, said
"Whichever way you look at it, this is bad news for the travelling public. Instead of working to make services more attractive and easier to use, London Midland and Department for Transport are planning to shut up shop. Ticket machines do not do the same job as knowledgeable staff and ticket office opening times are the only requirements for staffing at stations. This decision could leave some stations un-cared for and vulnerable passengers feeling unsafe.”
The Campaign for Better Transport also warned that the Government’s intention to cut the costs of running the railways could lead to more ticket office closures in future. Richard Hebditch said:
“Cutting ticket office opening times might seem an easy thing to do, but the costs of maintaining staffing at stations is marginal compared to where the major part of budgets are spent. There is also a real danger that cuts like these could simply put people off travelling by train and kill off the rise in passenger numbers that could help the railway to become more self-financing.”
Notes for editors
Details of the announcement are available on the Department for Transport website