Train operator has ‘no plans’ to close station ticket offices

A TRAIN operator has rushed to reassure travellers that there are currently no plans to close station ticket offices.

It was reported in the national press that ticket offices at Robertsbridge, Etchingham and Crowhurst stations were amongst those earmarked for closure, to be replaced by ticket machines.

The full list of 675 stations is said to appear in a report by Sir Roy McNulty on how to achieve savings in the railway industry and was made public by the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association.

TSSA leader Gerry Doherty warned that if the proposals were passed, passengers would feel less safe travelling and would find it more difficult to buy tickets.

The TSSA said those on the list were all listed as ‘category E’ stations, serving fewer than 250,000 passengers a year and where ticket offices open for less than 10 hours a day, usually in the morning and evening peak hours.

Battle station is not on the list, but both Bexhill and Rye are, meaning they could be at risk in the future.

But Southeastern, which operates trains between Battle and London, has said there are currently no plans to shut ticket offices.

A spokesperson for Southeastern said: “This is a political issue and was included in the McNulty report, which the Department of Transport has not seen and responded to yet.

“In our franchise it states ticket offices have to be open and goes into what hours they will be open.

“We cannot change anything without Department of Transport approval, so it will be up to them to close any ticket offices or reduce times.”

He added that there are currently “no changes at all” to existing ticket offices.