Louie French has submitted his response to the consultation on the future of Southeastern ticket offices, including the proposed changes to the ticket offices at Albany Park Station, Falconwood Station and Welling Station in his constituency.
The proposed changes for the ticket offices at Albany Park, Falconwood and Welling are to move staff who previously worked in ticket offices out into customer areas in the stations, which is similar to how many TfL stations already operate and is in response to a significant drop in ticket sales as more passengers use contactless payment. This trend is expected to accelerate now that the Mayor of London is scrapping day travelcards.
Southeastern have also proposed an extension of staffing hours at the stations, which should reassure passengers with security concerns. These are set out as below:
Albany Park Station
Current staffing hours: Monday – Saturday: 06.00-19.54, Sunday: 08.00-16.00
Proposed staffing hours: Monday – Saturday: 06.00-20.00, Sunday: 08.00-20.00
Average daily ticket office sales: 15 tickets a day
Current staffing hours: Monday – Saturday: 06.00-20.12, Sunday: 08.00-16.00
Proposed staffing hours: Monday – Saturday: 06.00-22.00, Sunday: 08.00-16.00
Average daily ticket office sales: 20 tickets a day
Current staffing hours: Monday – Saturday: 06.00-20.12, Sunday: 08.00-17.00
Proposed staffing hours: Monday – Saturday: 06.00-20.35, Sunday: 08.00-17.00
Average daily ticket office sales: 27 tickets a day
In his response, Louie’s key submissions include:
- The importance of all passengers having access to the support they need to travel confidently and safely, particularly those with accessibility issues.
- The importance of station staff to be clearly identifiable and accessible to passengers, alongside high-level training to be undertaken by station staff on their new duties.
- Requesting the proposed increase in staffing hours to continue for the longer term.
- Requesting lighting and CCTV to be upgraded at the impacted stations.
- Urging that no pressure would be placed on passengers to use ticket machines themselves, if they would prefer staff to book tickets for them, as is currently the case with the ticket offices.
- Strong consideration to be given to the retention of the same staff at each station due to the rapport they have built with local passengers.
- Demanding ticket vending machines to have their functionality enhanced to ensure they are reliable and straightforward to use. This includes for buying tickets outside of the Oyster zone, outside of the ticket station of origin, and to easily apply all rail discounts.
Louie also continues to press Southeastern on improving its services for all passengers, including outstanding issues with the new timetable that Louie has been campaigning for on the behalf of local people in Old Bexley, Sidcup and Welling.