Plans to close ticket offices part of ‘managed decline’ says Ruth Cadbury

Image above: The ticket office at Chiswick Station, Ruth Cadbury MP

Proposals ‘could be the beginning of no staffing at smaller stations’

Ruth Cadbury MP has written to South Western Rail to express her “serious concern” over plans to close ticket offices and reduce staffing hours on rail stations across London.

In her letter, Ms. Cadbury said the proposed cuts in staffing hours at Brentford, Chiswick and Hounslow and the complete closure of the ticket office at London Waterloo would affect many passengers especially those who travel by train occasionally, are disabled or are not able to buy tickets online.

The Brentford and Isleworth MP warned that this could mean the end of staffing at most suburban stations and was yet another step in the ‘managed decline’ of our railways which is being led by the Government.

Speaking about the planned closures, Ms. Cadbury said:

‘‘I know from listening to people locally that they are rightly concerned and worried about the impact that these changes will have. So many people rely on the trains to get to work, to see family and friends and to go into London to shop, eat and relax. These changes will have a huge impact on rail passengers, especially those who need extra support and assistance to buy tickets, to get timetable information and to get on and off the train.

“Hounslow and Chiswick stations will have no staffing at all on Mondays, and Brentford on Fridays. Meanwhile staffing at Hounslow is to be cut by almost four hours a day. My worry is that these proposals are the thin end of the wedge and we could see no staffing at stations apart from the main terminals.

“These cuts to staffing at local stations could pose a risk to passenger safety and also impact on the job security of station staff, many of whom worked extremely hard throughout the pandemic to keep our trains running and passengers supported. Over the past two years rail passengers have experienced a poor service from South Western Rail with longer waits, more cancellations and overcrowded trains. With the Government now controlling all aspects of rail funding, I suspect this is yet another step towards the managed decline of our railways.

“I will continue to campaign locally to ensure that public transport is accessible and available to all.’’

Image above: Broken ticket machines at Chiswick Station

Over 170,000 take part in SWR consultation so far

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of London TravelWatch, said:

“We’ve received more than 170,000 comments already. This feedback is currently being logged and reviewed alongside individual train operator proposals for their stations. It is important that a diverse range of views from all parts of the community are heard in this consultation.”

You can email your response to:

swr.consultation@londontravelwatch.org.uk

Or write to:

Freepost RTEH-XAGE-BYKZ
London TravelWatch
PO Box 5594
Southend-on-Sea
SS1 9PZ

Proposed changes for Chiswick station

Chiswick
Day Current ticket office opening hours Proposed station staffing hours
Monday 6.15am – 10.15am Unstaffed
Tuesday 6.15am – 10.15am 6.00am – 10.00am
Wednesday 6.15am – 10.15am 6.00am – 10.00am
Thursday 6.15am – 10.15am 6.00am – 10.00am
Friday 6.15am – 10.15am 6.00am – 10.00am
Saturday Unstaffed 9.00am – 1.00pm
Sunday Unstaffed Unstaffed

Proposed changes for Brentford station

Brentford
Day Current ticket office opening hours Proposed station staffing hours
Monday 6.30am – 10.30am 6.00am – 10.00am
Tuesday 6.30am – 10.30am 6.00am – 10.00am
Wednesday 6.30am – 10.30am 6.00am – 10.00am
Thursday 6.30am – 10.30am 6.00am – 10.00am
Friday 6.30am – 10.30am Unstaffed
Saturday Unstaffed Unstaffed
Sunday Unstaffed 9.00am – 1.00pm

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