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Govia Thameslink Railway Proposed Station Hosts (Southern)

9 February 2016

The TSSA met with Govia Thameslink Railway to discuss the principles in regard to the proposal to introduce Hosted Stations to the Southern routes of the business.

 

It is important to clarify that this meeting was the first of the consultation meetings and that the employer has taken away a number of issues raised and will respond at further meetings.

The overall proposal is to have three categories of stations: Hub, Hosted and Small. Within the initial Hosted Station proposal there are three sub-categories:

Category 1 stations will see the ticket office closed and the gateline being manned by an individual who can sell tickets on a portable device and host TVM’s. Stations proposed in this category are: Battersea Park, Carshalton Beeches, Gipsy Hill, Queens Road Peckham, Selhurst, South Croydon, Streatham, Streatham Common, Streatham Hill, Tulse Hill, and West Norwood.

Category 2 stations will see the ticket office closed and both the gateline and a desk being manned by individuals who can sell tickets on a portable device and host TVM’s. Stations proposed in this category are: Balham, Carshalton, Caterham, Coulsdon South, Falmer, Lancing, Norbury, Purley, Reigate, Sanderstead, Shoreham by Sea, Sutton, Thornton Heath, and Wallington.

Category 3 stations will see the ticket office remain open for part of the day and then closed. Also, both the gateline and a desk will be manned by individuals who can sell tickets on a portable device and host TVM’s, leading to the eventual permanent closure of the ticket office after a period of time. Stations proposed in this category are: Angmering, Ashtead, Barnham, Bexhill, Bognor Regis, Burgess Hill, Chichester, Crawley, Dorking, East Grinstead, Eastbourne, Epsom, Hassocks, Horley, Horsham, Hove, Leatherhead, Lewes, Littlehampton, Merstham, Oxted, Polegate, Portslade and Worthing.

This document proposes a brutal reduction of 115 posts on Southern, it will also lead to some displacement and the movement of employees to new locations. The TSSA cannot accept that this reduction in positions is justifiable and we will be requesting management to justify their proposed establishment throughout the consultation process and making counter proposals.

The TSSA have asked further questions of the selection process, we have grave reservations on the proposed selection procedure and are presently challenging that.

There are many unresolved issues, such as: What are the cash-handling arrangements? What are the accountancy arrangements? What is the nature of the new hand held ticket machines and what is their capability? Furthermore: What is the variation of tickets that will be sold to the public in the proposed locations? and: What is the amount of lone working that will be expected? We are currently awaiting the response of your employer to all of the above before the TSSA can provide a full report back to our members.

The TSSA is opposed to the closure of ticket offices and we see this as detriment to the travelling public. To achieve any changes to the opening times of ticket offices, GTR will have to change their schedule 17 arrangement and to do this, they must consult with the public. Their consultation will be to place a poster up at each affected location, informing the public of where they can raise objections, which will be Travel Watch for the London area and Passenger Focus for the non-London Areas.

It is essential that we get the public to fight this and that we urge members to encourage the public to do so. I also believe that it is important that members contact the Members of Parliament for the location of the affected station, as well as local councillors.

Please inform the TSSA immediately when the Schedule 17 amendment posters are put up at your location, showing the consultation period. You can do this by contacting Iain Anderson on 0207 529 8003 and at: andersoni@tssa.org.uk

TSSA will inform you of further developments and of organised opposition to these proposals.

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