Councillors Alexa Michael and Thomas Turrell have welcomed the announcement from Southeastern that all stations will have a dedicated contact point for passengers needing support at their stations if the proposed ticket offices do go ahead.
Rail operators across the UK are consulting on the closure of ticket offices. However, the closures will not result in job losses. Instead, staff in ticket offices will roam the station to be on hand to assist passengers as required. Transport for London moved to this model a number of years ago.
London Travelwatch conducted a consultation on the plans over the summer. Both Councillor Michael and Councillor Turrell responded. Councillor Michael objected to the plans while Councillor Turrell said he could see the logic but had concerns about the implementation. Both Councillors called for a dedicated contact point where member of the public can be sure to find a member of staff. This is essential for vulnerable rail users, particularly blind passengers.
At Bromley Council’s Public Transport Liaison Group meeting, held on Tuesday 10th October, the representatives from Southeastern confirmed to Councillors that this designated support spot would be implemented.
Councillor Michael welcomed this. She said:
“The designated support point is crucial for more vulnerable passengers who need to know where they can contact someone for support. I am pleased that Southeastern have listened to, elected representatives, local people and charities who also called for dedicated support if ticket offices are to close”.
London Travelwatch are currently analysing the consultation responses. The outcome of the consultation is expected to be published before Christmas.
Asked at the meeting what would happen to the ticket offices if they closed, the spokesman for Southeastern replied that they will be used for space for staff (such as staff rooms), retail, community space, storing technical train and rail parts to reduc