Twickenham station ticket office

UK: More than 680 000 responses were submitted to the public consultation on proposals to close most station ticket offices in England.

The deadline to submit comments to Transport Focus and London TravelWatch was 23.59 on September 1.

The two watchdog bodies said responses from the public and stakeholders had raised concerns around accessibility, safety and security, issues with ticket machines and how stations would be staffed in future.

‘I am grateful to all who have taken the time to contribute to the consultation and their views will form a vital part of the process as we move towards our response’, said Transport Focus CEO Anthony Smith. ‘With more than half a million responses received, we’ll review them and the train company proposals to assess whether or not they will improve the quality of service for passengers according to our criteria.’

London TravelWatch CEO Michael Roberts said ‘we are particularly interested in how individual stations will be staffed, how accessible they will be, options for buying tickets and whether passengers will be able to access facilities such as lifts, waiting rooms and toilets.’

The Rail Delivery Group said ‘we want all our passengers to feel supported during any transition, and train companies will now work with independent passenger bodies at a local level to take on board the feedback. In the meantime, we will continue to engage with passengers, accessibility and safety groups to make a better and more robust railway.’

Next steps

The watchdogs are due to submit their responses to each train operator by October 31. These will be published online, with an overview of the number of responses received and the main issues raised.

If the watchdogs object to a train operator’s proposals, the company can go to the Secretary of State for Transport for a final decision; the Department for Transport has published guidance which sets out the approach to be taken if this happens.