RMT lobbies Transport Focus and London Travelwatch over ticket office cuts
The RMT has written to both Transport Focus and London TravelWatch to object to plans to cut ticket office hours across the capital.
The union says the proposals would would lead to a significant reduction in passenger service and accessibility in the drive towards a faceless railway in the name of profit.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT knows that these proposals are about profit not passengers. C2C Trenitalia is attempting to push through proposals that would leave ticket offices unstaffed for larger parts of the day, and closed altogether at some stations at weekends. This makes a mockery of its passenger charter commitment to staffing all stations from first to last train.
“If these proposals are allowed to go ahead RMT members working across C2C know that there will be a significant deterioration in the service provided to passengers and would deny access to those who rely on both ticket offices and staffed stations. That is why RMT has objected to all proposals to reduce C2C ticket office hours. RMT is calling on the passenger watchdogs London TravelWatch and Transport Focus to object to all of C2C’s proposals and force these plans off the table. “
The union says the crucial points that must be taken into account in the consultation are:
· C2C is consulting on proposals to reduce ticket office opening hours at 25 stations across the network.
· Many stations are facing cuts in excess of 10 hours a day on Monday – Friday
· The proposals would leave more stations closed all day on Saturdays and Sundays.
· C2C’s Passenger Charter states that all stations are staffed from first to last train – however, if these proposals are allowed to go ahead, just 9 stations would continue to offer this level of service. This would have a significant impact on all passengers, particularly those requiring assistance at the station, such as disabled and elderly passengers.
· Ticket machines are no replacement for face-to-face assistance from ticket office staff who can provide advice and assistance in addition to a full range of services. E.g. – ticket office staff help passengers find the cheapest ticket for their journey – this service is lost when ticket offices are closed.
· Last year there was a significant increase in reported crime on the railway (including an increase of 16% in violent crime). At a time of increasing crime and violence on the railways, train companies should be expanding, not reducing station staffing. Unstaffed stations will only encourage anti-social behaviour.
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