The London Borough of Bexley has submitted its official response to the first phase of Southeastern’s consultation into the closure of ticket offices within the borough.
Eight stations in the borough were part of the consultation:
- Albany Park
- Slade Green
In the response, the Council has pointed out possible issues for stations without step-free access, ‘add on’ ticket difficulties and the need for some face-to-face customer availability.
The borough’s response in full is available to read below
Response from The London Borough of Bexley - Ticket office closure consultation
The London Borough of Bexley is aware of the current first phase of consultations relating to the closure of ticket offices at most stations operated by Southeastern, and is concerned that not all types of tickets are currently available from ticket machines or online booking.
The Council recommends that all Ticket Vending Machines (TVM) within the London Zones should retain the ability for Oyster card top-ups, as well as facilitating the option for other payment or credits to other travel cards going forward. For example, passengers who need an add-on ticket to their Freedom Pass from the edge of zone 6 to an out-of-London destination, possibly using a Senior Rail Card, would not currently be able to undertake such a transaction using a TVM. Therefore, the Council recommends that TVM software be updated to enable all types of transactions to be undertaken.
Although Southeastern has assured the Council that staff will be available to assist customers and all types of tickets will become available from machines, the Council recommends that the new arrangements be monitored and early customer feedback sought to identify, and address, any remaining issues.
The Council does have concerns about the proposed level of face-to-face support for disabled passengers and is aware that not all stations in the borough have step-free access between platforms. The stations without DDA compliant access between platforms under consideration in the first tranche of ticket office closures comprise Albany Park, Barnehurst, Belvedere, Erith, Falconwood, Slade Green and Welling.
Other stations in the borough without step-free access between platforms not
included in the first tranche are Sidcup and Crayford. Therefore, the Council
recommends the provision of face-to-face support on all platforms especially at those stations without step-free access between platforms.
In addition, The Council would appreciate clarification on how staff will provide customer support at split level stations such as Albany Park and Falconwood where the platforms cannot be seen from the booking office area.
The Council looks forward to being engaged in the second phase of consultations.
Cabinet Member for Places, Cllr Richard Diment said:
I hope that Southeastern will think sensibly before they introduce changes to our stations. Having spoken to local rail users and looked at the plans I feel we have fed back our concerns in full.
I look forward to being engaged in the second phase of consultations when they are announced and will be encouraging anyone that uses our ticket offices to also have their say.”