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Last push to save local ticket offices across the south east

11 March 2016

The joint TSSA/RMT campaign to keep the South East's railway stations with their own ticket offices has gathered huge momentum this week with tens of thousands of passengers pledging their support.

TSSA members have joined colleagues from the RMT and the Campaign for Better Transport and handed out 100,000 leaflets and collected petition signatures at the 84 stations Govia Thameslink Rail have earmarked for ticket office closures and are calling for a final push before the consultation period closes on Sunday.

And news of GTR's proposals to replace the long-standing and well-respected human customer service with digital-only ticket machines have been met with anger by passengers who have been learning of them first from union campaigners.

"Passengers, particularly older ones who use the service outside peak times are really irritated to find out that GTR want to axe the ticket office at their local station," said Sam Tarry, TSSA Political Officer who has been handing out leaflets across GTR this week.

"They have no wish to see the personal service and the human faces on the railways axed. In fact they are telling us this week that they'd like more people staffing railways not less.

"Passengers really get that railways run best when they are run with passenger convenience in mind and they are telling us that loss of staff will not just inconvenience them but will change the nature of your local railway for theorise making the feel it will be a less safe space.

"There's also a lot of irritation out there that GTR have done little to promote the consultation period. It isn’t a private franchise, it is a publicly owned and operated on behalf of the Department for Transport by GTR.

"They are obliged by law to consult the public but have done precious little to let passengers know which means are awareness programme has been really well received."

TSSA and RMT have now sent in thousands of signatures opposing ticket office closures to rail watchdogs London Watch and Transport Focus who will also be receiving a 6,000-signature petition to save ticket offices from The Campaign for Better Transport.

Said TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes: "It's very clear passenger opinion is completely against digital upgrading at the expense of good customer service across the whole of GTR.

"TSSA members along with RMT colleagues are doing a great job of public awareness raising. Let's keep up the pressure on right up and until the last minutes so we can retain proper, safer passenger services in the South East."

Consultation closes at midnight on Sunday March 13. Go here and click on the "Have Your Say" button at the bottom of the page to lodge your opposition.


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