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Bexley commuters ‘frightened’ by ticket office closures

Southeastern Railway said last week it was considering closing ticket offices at 40 stations on its south London network.

The railway company said the targeted station sells fewer than 50 tickets daily at its office window and already has a Pay As You Go service. The plan aims to move staff out of the box office to support customers face-to-face and encourage self-service deployments. technology.

Victor Browning, 70, has lived in Bexleyheath for 16 years and said he takes the train three times a week to “go out”. He said he feels commuters who aren’t “digitally minded” will struggle to buy tickets online or at machines.

Mr Browning told the Local Democracy Press Office: I think it first started when Johnson started shutting down subway ticket offices. That’s where the money savings started. ”

Browning added: “They said they were going to let all the ticket office clerks out on the platform. , I’ve seen on Facebook and elsewhere saying no one. Therefore, they have to board the train without a ticket. ”

This is a London Local: Victor BrowningVictor Browning (Image: Joe Coughlan)

Southeastern Airlines said in a statement that it has lost 63 million trips over the past four years. The railroad said it was open to having a “cost-saving element” in the proposal.

“Knowing that we are a public sector organization that relies on taxpayer subsidies in excess of £1m per day, we are committed to ensuring the sustainability of our railways into the future,” the statement said. We would like to confirm and reduce the costs associated with railway operations.”

Anonymous residents said they live 10 minutes from Bexleyheath and Barnhurst stations. Locals said they were “scared” at the thought of the station’s ticket office closing at midnight and believed Bexleyheath station was suffering from years of underinvestment.

She told LDRS: “I have a Freedom Pass and an advanced rail card, but the cheap ticket machines that you can buy at the ticket office have no function.

She added: “I think it’s just a greedy money hoist … The toilet has been out of order for two months and nobody cares because they don’t want to spend money.”

Southeastern’s website shows that all types of tickets, except Oyster top-up and cash payments, can be purchased online. It also states that discounts on rail cards are available at ticket vending machines and onboard trains.

A spokesperson for the Southeast told LDRS: “If the proposal is approved, Bexleyheath and across South East London will ensure that closing the box office will not reduce the support available to those looking to buy tickets or seek travel advice. We want our customers to feel safe.” At the station. ”

He added: “All stations currently staffed will continue to be staffed. In fact, the proposed staffing hours at Bexleyheath are longer than the current ticket office opening hours.” ,” he added.

rear eagles, the 20-year-old said she has lived in Bexleyheath all her life. A local woman takes the train five days a week to work, and she said she understands the concerns older commuters have about not being able to get discounts on tickets bought from machines.

“I just have Apple Pay, but I feel it will affect older people who aren’t tech savvy,” Eagles told LDRS.

She added: “Obviously money is tight. ”

Nance Sabu, 63, said he lives with his aunt within walking distance of Bexleyheath railway station. He took her train four days a week, and her aunt said she took the train for trips several times a month.

Sabu told LDRS: “My aunt is 74. We are elderly and not very tech savvy. I am 63 and we can change but we like talking to people. I am Sri Lanka I’m from here, but I love the culture of talking to people…I don’t want to talk to machines.”

Furthermore, he added: “You don’t get any interaction. The interaction between humans and machines is completely different, so it’s kind of depressing.”

Sabu said he was “mad” when he learned of the proposed changes. He also said he feels that Southeastern is not using the money properly given the cost-saving aspects of the change.

“I know we have to cut corners, but we can’t cut corners on people’s emotions,” he added.

More Bexley News

The proposed change would add “travel centers” at 14 of Southeastern’s busiest stations, providing travel information and ticketing solutions for commuters. A spokesperson for Southeastern told LDRS that the majority of customers at most stations in London, including Bexleyheath, use the Pay As You Go service and do not need to purchase tickets at stations. .

“However, we definitely recognize that it is important for some people to continue to buy tickets and access support at stations. This will allow us to provide more help to those who need it, whether it’s buying a ticket or helping them get on a train, at the right place, at the right time. We can continue to provide a safer and more accessible service.”

The railway company said it encouraged all input on the proposed changes and is currently conducting online consultations until 26 July. Details and a complete list of ticket offices at risk are available on the company’s website.

https://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/23659762.bexley-commuters-frightened-ticket-office-closure/?ref=rss Bexley commuters ‘frightened’ by ticket office closures

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