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Chaos Shows Need For Ticket Offices

31 October 2018

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has rounded on private rail company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) after thousands of passengers were left unable to purchase tickets across swathes of England’s rail network.

 Commuters on Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and the Gatwick Express – which are all operated by GTR - were affected, causing what was described by many as “chaos” at major stations, including London Victoria yesterday.

Govia had sought to shift the blame for the trouble at its card-only machines saying the source of the problem was the Mastercard payment portal.

However, a spokesman for Mastercard denied this was the case.

Commenting, Manuel Cortes said: “Wherever the blame lies for the chaos we saw yesterday this demonstrates that it’s crucial to have ticket offices open and staff visible right across the railways.

“This is a matter of public safety and it’s appalling to see the public put under further pressure when simply trying to use the rail network.

“This again illustrates that the franchising system is on its last legs. What passengers need, and deserve, is a public rail system that works for them not against them.”

East Midlands Trains (not part of GTR) was also said it is unable to process card payments from its machines, while Manchester Metrolink tram services were also affected.

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