The Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council (HBC) has penned an open letter to the Secretary of State for Transport following a new proposal that could see train ticket offices closed at a number of railway stations, including Bushey and Radlett.
The proposal has been announced by the Rail Delivery Group, which represents an array of railway companies. The group aims to better support passengers by moving colleagues out from behind traditional ticket office windows onto the station floor where customers need them most, making them more visible and accessible.
Jacqueline Starr, Rail Delivery Group chief executive, said: “The ways our customers buy tickets has changed. With just 12 per cent of tickets being sold from ticket offices last year, and 99 per cent of those transactions being available on ticket vending machines or online, our proposals would mean more staff on hand to give face-to-face help with a much wider range of support.”
Councillor Jeremy Newmark, Leader of HBC, wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Mark Harper MP, to convey the concerns of residents and businesses in the borough.
One of the five points cllr Newmark makes is the impact the proposals will have on accessibility.
He writes: “Our disabled and elderly constituents already face numerous barriers to use our rail network. Twenty-three per cent of disabled adults and six per cent of non-disabled adults are unable to use the internet. Wheelchair user discounts can only be purchased at ticket offices and only three per cent of blind people are able to use ticket vending machines without problems.
“What guarantees will you offer elderly and disabled rail users in Hertsmere that they will not be disadvantaged by these proposals?”
Cllr Newmark is also seeking further “guarantees” that the job security of station staff would be protected.
To view the letter in full, visit https://shorturl.at/fpWZ2
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