London Midland, the operators of Acocks Green train station and railway line are proposing to reduce the hours that the station will be manned. The plan is to close the ticket office at 2pm Monday to Thursday. See photo below:
As you can see the reduction in hours is drastic. The Neighbourhood Forum has written to London Midland to object to the changes. A copy of the letter is below along with their response. If you ever use Acocks Green station and don’t agree with these changes then please email or write to object before 22nd March
Write to: Passenger Focus, Freepost (RRRE-ETTC-LEET), PO Box 4257, Manchester, M60 3AR email: email@example.com
More info on the changes can be found at londonmidland.com/ticketoffice-proposals
The Forum’s Letter:
Dear London Midland
I am writing to you as a local rail user and on behalf of Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum.
We are most concerned about the proposed lack of staff at Acocks Green station in the afternoons and evenings. Although, on record, we can understand that the number of ticket purchases go down considerably as the day goes on, it is important to have a representative of the train service in place for many reasons:
Obviously the staff can offer advice and help on using the train network, reassurance to those who are not regular commuters and also offer a sense of security. For example I know from experience that many people have no understanding of the Permit to Travel machine and find it most confusing. Some train users would also feel isolated waiting alone a platform with no staff at hand.
When there is a member of staff in place it encourages more people who are ad-hoc passengers to use the train. It makes people feel more secure and confident in using the service and also parking at the station. The staff are a friendly and personal representative of your service in this more and more anonymous digital world. We are sure that everyone would agree that to have face to face contact with a knowledgeable and reassuring railway representative makes their journey more complete and pleasant.
We feel that less people will use the train service in the afternoon and evening if there is no staff member to serve them. We want the train service to be a well-used and beneficial service to everyone in the area. To lose the staff may save your company money in the short run, but it does not reflect well on your service. We are being encouraged from all sides use more sustainable transport and yet your proposals are not supporting users of a sustainable service.
We speak on behalf of many local people and hope that you can reconsider your proposals.
Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum
Response from Passenger Focus:
Our Ref : PF0-46173-C18D
Dear Mr Hughes
Thank you for your email of 16 March 2011, regarding London Midland’s (LM) proposal to reduce ticket office hours at their stations. We are reading and recording all of the emails and letters sent to us on this important subject and recording all the rissues raised.
Under the guidance governing ticket office opening hours, a train company can reduce opening hours if the office is lightly used. Less than 12 ticket sales per hour is the cut off point. We are checking LM data to ascertain the level of ticket issues at the offices where they are proposing to reduce opening hours. In addition we are looking at all potential loss of benefits and services that will affect passengers. We will also be monitoring carefully the measures where LM are planning to provide additional benefits for passengers.
The consultation period closes on 22 March and we have until 29 March to respond to the proposals. A copy of our response will be available on our web site: www.passengerfocus.org.uk or in other formats by request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your comments and for contacting Passenger Focus.