Regular rail user and grandmother of two Leela shares her experience being supported by a helpful ticket office staff member.
“I have two lovely grandchildren, aged 7 and 9. With them based in London and me living in South Wales, I do a lot of train travel back and forth to see them.
The other week, I headed to the capital to pick them up and bring them back with me on the train. The website was down and I couldn’t book tickets online, so I headed to the ticket office at Paddington station to buy our fares.
The staff member at the ticket office was incredible. I told him I had a Senior Railcard and prepared to pay £95 for me and the two kids. But he told me that if I got a Family and Friends railcard discount it would work out a lot cheaper, even taking into account the £30 for the card.
He was fantastic. He saved us so much money in that moment, but also for the future. He even gave me the option of putting a second name on the railcard.
I’m so grateful that he took the time to save me money. If the ticket office was closed, I would have had to fork out a lot more for my journey.
I remember another time, at Easter, when we were again heading to Wales from London. There was flooding on the line and I was thinking ‘what are we going to do?’ We went into the booking office and they told us which route we could take to get to Swansea. I wouldn’t have had a clue otherwise and without the ticket office we would have had to go home.
If we lose all of our ticket offices, we lose that human care and contact. I think they’re invaluable.”