Letter: passengers lose out from ticket office closures

Elizabeth Wardle says closing ticket officers at the borough’s stations will mean passengers get a bad deal

The entrance to Oakleigh Park national rail station with a sign reading "Welcome to Oakleigh Park"
Oakleigh Park station is part of a national plan to close ticket offices

I am writing to express my concern about the proposed closure of ticket offices at train stations including New Barnet and Oakleigh Park.

In the present climate crisis it is vital to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging more people to use public transport instead of private cars. Train travel must therefore become more user-friendly, not less, and fares should be reduced – this has been done in other countries and revenue has actually increased as more people switch to public transport.

Without ticket offices, passengers will no longer have access to the best value fares; ticketing websites don’t always recommend the best routes or offer the cheapest fares.

Many products and services are not available from ticket vending machines, including some season tickets, advance tickets and discounts. And staff at ticket offices don’t only sell tickets, they give help and advice, which no machine can do.

This is especially important when services are disrupted. So-called roving staff may not have the expertise of ticket office staff and might not be available when needed.

It has been pointed out that the proposed closures would particularly affect disabled or visually impaired people who might need help with booking or access requirements. This would surely contravene the Equality Act 2010.

As part of its obligation to achieve a low-carbon economy, the government must urgently act to improve public transport for the public good.

The public consultation on ticket office closures runs until 26th July. You can have your say here.

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month. £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else. £84 annual supporters get a print copy by post and a digital copy of each month's before anyone else.

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly 

More Information about donations