Plans to slash ticket office opening hours at c2c stations
PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 September 2019
Train operator c2c plans to reduce the number of hours its ticket offices are open at stations across the network.
Some of the biggest changes to be proposed include closing the ticket offices at Dagenham Dock and Rainham completely on Saturdays.
Rainham, along with Limehouse, is also facing morning-only opening hours during the week.
The travel watchdog London TravelWatch is running the consultation, which closes on October 14. By law, rail operators have to consult the watchdog, which is independent of transport operators and the government.
Arthur Leathley is chair of London TravelWatch. He said it wants to ensure passengers can still purchase all the tickets they need after the proposed changes.
"Passengers will also want to be reassured that there will be suitable provision of information and security if the reduction in opening hours of ticket offices at these stations goes ahead," he added.
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"We will review the responses we receive from passengers and make a recommendation to the Department for Transport based on these and other information we receive."
According to c2c, this is the first time it's proposed changes to ticket office operating hours since the mid-1990s. It emphasised that this was before the introduction of things like smartphones, Oyster cards and contactless payment.
In a statement, the operator said these changes meant current opening hours are "not sustainable given changing customer demand".
It added that the changes are being suggested for offices that sell 12 tickets or fewer every hour - the equivalent of one ticket every five minutes. All the offices will be open during peak morning times on weekdays and none of them are closing completely.
To help make the change, c2c said it has been investing in new ticket machines, online ticket systems, improved CCTV and mobile security patrols.
The proposed changes only affect ticket offices - busier stations will have staff on duty from the first to the last train and almost every stop will have staff at the barriers in morning and afternoon peak times. There aren't any redundancies being made as part of the plans.
Passengers can comment on the proposals by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the proposals can be found at c2c's website c2c-online.co.uk.