Passenger watchdog London TravelWatch has launched a consultation into plans to close ticket offices at 51 London Overground stations.
The plans, drawn up by operator Arriva Rail London, would see ticket offices close at the following stations: Acton Central, Anerley, Brondesbury, Brondesbury Park, Bruce Gove, Bush Hill Park, Caledonian Road & Barnsbury, Camden Road, Canonbury, Carpenders Park, Clapton, Dalston Kingsland, Dalston Junction, Finchley Road & Frognal, Gospel Oak, Hackney Central, Hackney Downs, Hackney Wick, Haggerston, Hampstead Heath, Hatch End, Headstone Lane, Homerton, Honor Oak Park, Hoxton, Imperial Wharf, Kensal Rise, Kensington (Olympia), Kentish Town West, Kilburn High Road, Penge West, Rectory Road, Rotherhithe, Shadwell, Shepherds Bush, Shoreditch High Street, Silver Street, South Acton, South Hampsted, Southbury, St James Street, Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington, Surrey Quays, Theobalds Gove, Turkey Street, Wapping, Watford High Street, West Hampstead, White Hart Lane and Wood Street.
Arriva says the closures are being proposed “in response to the growing use of new technology, including contactless cards and mobile devices”.
Managing Director Will Rogers said: “We have been working closely with trade unions on this programme, including undertaking a joint station-by-station review.
“Ticket issuing data indicates that only 5% of transactions are through ticket offices. These results have informed proposals aimed at meeting the needs of our customers both today and in the future.”
The proposals are backed by Transport for London which sets fares and service levels on the Overground.
Jon Fox, TfL’s Director of Rail and Sponsored Services, said: “The way customers pay for travel has changed rapidly as they embrace new technology, creating an opportunity to improve the way stations are managed and how staff serve customers.”
Fox insisted the closures “will not compromise safety and all stations will remain staffed at all times.”
London TravelWatch is asking passengers for their views and says it wants “as many passengers as possible” to take part in its online survey which opens today and runs until 11 October 2018.
Passengers can also send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to 169 Union Street, London, SE1 0LL.
Chair Arthur Leathley said: ‘We want to ensure that passengers can still purchase all the tickets that they need after these proposed changes.
“There must also be suitable provision of information and security if the ticket offices at these stations were to close.
“We will review the responses we receive from passengers to our survey and make a recommendation to the Department for Transport based on these and other information we receive”.