East Sussex train ticket offices “cannot be replaced” by ticket machines
Lewis politicians called on the Conservative government and rail company bosses to abandon plans to permanently close 974 ticket offices in England.
The comments come in the wake of the closure of a public consultation on closing most of England’s 1,000 offices within three years, in a bid to “modernise” the railways.
The proposals would see offices at Falmer Station, Plumton, Newhaven Town, Seaford and Lewes closed.
The plans have angered a number of residents in East Sussex, who say these services cannot be replaced by ticket machines or other alternatives proposed by the railway company’s management.
Green ward councilor Paul Keane said: “The public have been fantastic across the Lewes borough, joining our protests and letter writing campaign, as well as adding their names to the national petitions to fight against this very wrong government and railway company. Plans.
“The proposed alternative ‘service’ to replace staffed ticket offices is not even a pale imitation of what we stand to lose if these plans go ahead. The Tory government and rail bosses are treating the public with disdain as they attempt to close almost a thousand staff ticket offices across England. “It is the same incompetence, arrogance and contempt that we have all come to expect from this government.”
The consultation received more than 680,000 responses and was extended until 1 September following the protests.
During this period, train companies acknowledged that passengers would be put at risk by anti-social behavior and crime due to the closures, with union leader Mick Lynch claiming that people “won’t want to travel once the sun goes down”.
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Transport Secretary Mark Harper admitted that closing rail ticket offices would also lead to job losses, while a number of Conservative MPs said “inadequate” technology at train stations would not be able to replace fully trained staff at ticket offices, leaving passengers vulnerable. in danger. Not being able to ask for help.
Maria Caulfield, the Conservative MP for Lewes, told SussexWorld she supports retaining local ticket offices and hopes residents’ voices will be heard.
“This is a consultation run by rail operators,” Ms Caulfield said. I have made it clear that I support retaining our ticket offices, which is why I signed the local petition, encouraged residents to take part in the consultation and pushed for the consultation to be extended. “I hope the railway companies listen to the voices of residents.”
Responses are being reviewed by watchdogs Transport Focus and London TravelWatch, which will assess plans for station-by-station closures.
The two regulatory bodies can refer the decision to the Minister of Transport if they support public objections.