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 Ruth 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 on-line.
In her letter Ruth 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 in full about these planned closures Ruth 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. ’’
The full letter can be found here https://ruthcadbury.org/content/ruth-writes-south-western-rail-over-planned-ticket-office-closure