Ticket office staff cuts opposed

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Dave A

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Taken from BBC London -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4121214.stm

Ticket office staff cuts opposed

The rail operator said staff could be more productively employed
Rail user groups are fighting plans to reduce ticket office opening hours by South Eastern Trains.
The rail operator has put forward proposals to cut about 100 jobs at stations in London and the South East.

A spokesman said ticket sale patterns had changed and 90 jobs would be created, and redeployment offered.

Rail Passengers Committees said on Wednesday passengers needed more advice not less. They want people to write to the rail operator to oppose the plans.

Mark Woodbridge, regional director for the Rail Passengers Committee Southern England, said the rail firm had not shown the benefits to passengers.

'Not the answer'

"Passengers do not like stations unmanned - they prefer the human touch and a perception that someone is in control and looking after their welfare," he said.

"Replacing people with machines is not the way forward as they do not offer the full range of tickets and cannot provide the human interface that passengers demand."

Brian Cooke, chairman of the London Transport Users' Committee, said: "This is one of the daftest proposals we have seen from a train operator at a time when train travel is increasing and passengers are faced with an increasingly complex ticketing range.

"Replacing ticket office with more staff on trains is not the answer."

'Consultation under way'

When the plans were announced, the rail operator said ticket office staff could be more productively employed at quiet times and new jobs would improve security, station presentation and revenue protection.

A spokesman said new ticket vending machines were being installed at stations which could issue a full range of tickets and take credit cards, so passengers could buy tickets when offices were unstaffed.

He added proposals were not yet final and consultation was under way with rail industry watchdogs.

South Eastern Trains (SET) took over rail services between London and Kent and Sussex after Connex lost the regional franchise.
 
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Dave A

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Cut them :shock: If anything there should be more, especially in the afternoon/evening when they all seem to wonder home at five :roll:
 

yorkie

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It all sounds plausible saying they can 'use automated ticket machines', BUT when you consider the evidence...

* Some machines swallow cards. This has happened to me 3 times now. :shock:
* Some machines refuse to accept some notes.
* All (that I know of) machines do not issue 'unusual' ticket types such as Rovers, Boundary Zone 6 extentions, excess fares, tickets from stations other than the station the machine is located at, Railcards,.... (I could go on!)
* Machines don't offer useful routeing advice

... I say no, this is a very bad idea! If they made the machines a LOT better, able to handle all the above situations, then it may be possible to re-deploy staff in other areas providing they were still at the station and there was no reduction in station staff, and providing they were able to help passengers where needed.

However I don't think we'll ever see ticket machines that offer the full range of tickets. If they were going to do that, we'd have them by now.
 

Dave A

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I don't know if anyones experienced it, but to cut the number of over 16's who travel at under 16's rates, some stations have stopped the machines from distributing £2 travelcards, I know Arnos Grove and Southgate had when I checked over a week ago :shock: This presents 2 problems.

1) Over-crowding at Ticket offices because more people are waiting, especially at the end of the school day.

2) People "jump" the machines and the company lose money because no-ones there to over see them.

And just by saving around £30 - £50 a day on wages, pathetic! :? :(
 
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