A rail company has backed down after controversial plans to reduce ticket office opening hours across its station saw almost 900 members of the public make representations to the capital’s passenger watchdog.
Following “extensive talks” with the company, London TravelWatch says First Capital Connect have agreed to “a significantly better arrangement”.
London TravelWatch Chair Sharon Grant said as a result of the watchdog’s intervention “no station now will completely lose ticket offices or staffing, and we managed to restore permanently over 30% of the hours proposed for reduction.”
Grant added: “Although we regret any closures at all, we are aware that cost pressures in the rail industry are currently accelerating the shift towards automated ticketing.”
In a statement Keith Jipps, Head of Station Services at First Capital Connect said the consultation “has been vital in ensuring we achieved the right balance of facilities, services and opening hours at our stations to meet customer’s needs. We have thoroughly looked at each station and are confident we have achieved the right solution for everyone.”
Grant said the passenger body “will monitoring closely to ensure that passengers are still able to buy the ticket they want at the best price possible and that proper information is still available to all who need it.”