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TSSA and MP join forces with passengers

14 March 2016

TSSA, RMT and Martin Abrams who started the petition to save ticket offices are joined by Chuka Umunna MP to hand in 12,000 signatures

TSSA General Secretary was joined by Labour MP, Chuka Umunna at Govia Thameslink Railway headquarters in London this morning (Monday 14 March) to hand over a 12,000 strong petition against the closure of station ticket offices across the capital and the south east.

Passengers who use Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern train operators joined up with rail unions, including TSSA to fight to save up to 84 station ticket offices across London and the South East including three in Mr Umunna's south London constituency of Streatham.

Said Mr Umunna: "For far too long my constituents have watched their fares rise and the service decline. These closures will add insult to injury by forcing them to rely on self-service ticket machines that,shockingly, still fail to offer the cheapest available fare meaning they spend more money than they should.

"Whilst Govia Thameslink have given assurances that there will be no job losses as a result of this, I remain very concerned that the number of station staff could be reduced impacting directly on passenger safety. This is totally unacceptable and they need to think again."

Said passenger Martin Abrams from Streatham who started the petition and collected the 12,000 signatures in a week, "I use Thameslink and Southern trains regularly and am consistently appalled by the poor performance and shocking reliability. Closing ticket offices will only make a bad situation worse and it will be passengers who will suffer as a result. If this is how the company treats its own staff no wonder passengers are getting angry and frustrated with what is essentially a failing train company."

TSSA leader Manuel Cortes, said "It was great to have Chuka with us today and see him take a public lead against the closure of ticket offices. Passengers need their parliamentarians to stand up for them against the corporate de-humanisation of the rail business and we hope more will follow him. Survey after survey tell us passengers want more staff on stations and trains to assist them as they travel. Good customer service and passenger safety need to be at the heart of the rail industry not excessive profit-making.

"GRT have failed to properly consult the public about these changes as they are legally obliged to do and it has fallen to rail unions, the Campaign Better Transport and passengers like Martin Abrams who have done their best to raise awareness so passengers voices can be heard. We very much hope that GTR's parent company and the DfT are now listening to passengers wishes that these changes are not forced upon them." 

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