Keep Ticket Offices Open
Hot on the heels of their proposals to remove guards/conductors from Southern services, Govia Thameslink Railways Ltd (GTR) are now proposing even more passenger misery through 84 Station ticket office closures and reduced opening hours and services at others with the resultant loss of more jobs.
RMT Press Office: RMT begins preparations for ballot of Southern GTR station staff over ticket office closures, job cuts and lone working. RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has begun preparations for a ballot of station staff across Southern GTR for industrial action in response to a direct threat to services, jobs and staff safety from the company's plans to close and downgrade ticket offices.
UPDATE: This consultation is now closed. Govia Thameslink Railways (GTR) originally announced their proposals with little notice in the last week of February. They were not prepared to extend the timescale beyond the proscribed 21 days laid down in the Schedule which determines the procedure for Regulated Station changes. We are now awaiting the results of this consultation and reports from the independent watchdog’s London Travelwatch and Transport Focus and which we will put up on this website as soon as it is known.
We estimate at least 25,000 of you signed postcards, sent in letters, signed petitions and made your views known to the watchdogs, as well as writing direct to GTR. It is likely many more than that actually did respond reflecting the real strength of feeling on this issue.
RMT wishes to thank each and every one of you for your help and you can rest assured we will continue to campaign on this important matter so please watch this space for all updates.
UPDATE: March 22, 2016
Following on from a massive RMT-led campaign the Board of London Travel watch have today opposed all of the Govia Thameslink Railways proposals to shut or change opening hours at ticket offices in London.
GTR’s proposals would have seen ticket office closures at 41 stations in the London TravelWatch area and reducing the hours at a further 14 stations.
The decision follows the opposition of thousands of passengers to proposals in a campaign led by the RMT. The union also made direct representations in writing and at the Board meeting today.
The Union has welcomed the reprieve for the ticket offices and is seeking urgent clarification as to what the next steps are and also what the decision of Transport Focus is for the 28 non London Ticket offices.
RMT has made clear however that in light of the decision by London Travel Watch, GTR should drop what the union has called unworkable, unsafe and unpopular proposals. The union has also made it clear that the fight goes on and will not stop until the whole closure plan is scrapped.
In the light of this uncertainty and the additional feedback we have received, the Board felt that it was not able to support the proposals at the moment. It suggests GTR should develop a more considered proposal which could be piloted at a few carefully chosen stations.
Union claims "massive victory" as watchdog halts Govia Thameslink plans to close some Southern station ticket offices
Plans to close ticket offices across south west London have been halted after London TravelWatch cast doubts on the proposals. Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) announced a public consultation on plans to "modernise" many of their busier stations by reducing opening hours in several locations and closing more.
These damaging cuts on the Southern and Great Northern Thameslink services fly in the face of the fact that there is still a clear need for staffed ticket offices at stations. Indeed, all the research shows that many passengers prefer to buy from the ticket office rather than from a ticket machine. Replacing staffed ticket offices with ticket machines, or mobile staff expected to sell tickets on platforms, will undoubtedly limit the quality and range of services available to passengers.
Consultation on these changes is being rushed through and there is only limited time until midnight on the 13th March to register your objection with either London Travel Watch or Transport Focus.
We are urging everyone both individually (and collectively as an organisation where you can) to let the relevant watchdog know that you oppose these changes and are concerned about their implications.
We can save our ticket offices
Please click on these links to send an email, or letter, direct to either London TravelWatch or Transport Focus who are the relevant bodies responsible for all the individual stations that are listed below by March 13, 2016:
London Travel Watch
City Thameslink (Holborn)
City Thameslink (Ludgate Hill)
Elstree & Borehamwood
Luton Airport Parkway
Mill Hill Broadway
Queens Rd Peckham
Welwyn Garden City
Letchworth Garden City
The safety of staff and passengers could be jeopardised by plans to close ticket offices in stations across South London. Balham, Wandsworth Common, Battersea Park and Tooting are all in line to see ticket offices close either completely or for several hours a day under modernisation proposals by Govia Thameslink Rail.
At least three online petitions have been set up opposing 'crazy' plans to close or downgrade Sussex railway stations' ticket offices. Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates both Thameslink and Southern franchises, is proposing to reduce opening hours at a number of locations, but argued that affected stations would be staffed for longer as a result of bringing some of its staff from behind windows.
Council representatives and trade union members teamed up outside Worthing Station this morning to protest Southern Rail's proposal to reduce the hours of many of its ticket offices. Leaflets were handed out to commuters to raise awareness that up to 28 railway stations' ticket offices could be affected by reduced hours or shut down completely.