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Stop Govia Thameslink Railway taking away Ticket Offices in Sussex

This petition had 852 supporters


We call upon the Secretary of State for Transport to refuse Govia Thameslink Railway permission to severely curtail the availability of Railway Ticket Offices across Sussex.

Govia Thameslink Railway have announced plans to close 3 Ticket Offices in Sussex on their Southern network (Falmer, Shoreham by Sea, and Lancing ) and to severely curtail the opening times of 17 others ( including Hove, Worthing and Eastbourne ) so that they are only available during the morning peak. In the vast majority of these stations this will involve a reduction in the staff available and nobody with the time to help people plan their journeys in advance or help with other ticketing problems.

GT Railway's Southern Network is planning to introduce a “hosted station” concept where the staff will be expected to supervise the functioning of the ticket gates, make sure all the self service ticket machines are working, sell tickets from hand held equipment –– and do basic maintenance.

The ticket gates are notoriously unreliable. The internet doesn't always give you the best advice. And ticket machines are often unusable. There is no substitute for well trained staff who know the timetable and can give passengers expert advice. We want more people to travel by train, not fewer.

The Company are expecting the their staff to ensure that the ticket gates are in use 80% of the time which requires the member of staff to be able to observe the gates in operation and be immediately available to assist any passenger in difficulties yet also provide assistance to passengers experiencing difficulties with the self service machines, sell tickets from hand held equipment as needed as well as a multitude of other tasks.

The Company have also indicated their intention to fully close more station ticket offices if there is further movement of ticket sales to the Internet and Self Service Ticket Machines because they are basing their decisions solely on payments across the counter and not the total service provided by the staff in the ticket office.

It is frightening to think that for most of the day busy stations like Hove, Worthing, and Eastbourne would have only one person on duty taking responsibility for everything that is happening and that at most stations there will be no immediate back up for most of the day in the event of staff experiencing an attack or other form of confrontation.

This is not an improvement in service and we call on the Secretary of State for Transport to block this degradation to the service available at so many locations across Sussex.

Consultation on these proposed changes by Govia Thameslink is being rushed through and there is only limited time until midnight on the 13th March 2016 to register your objection with Transport Focus (advice@transportfocus.org.uk)



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