Brighton & Hove City Council has submitted its response to proposals by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to close ticket offices and reduce customer assistance hours.
In a letter, endorsed by Councillor Trevor Muten, Chair of the Transport and Sustainability committee, we outline why the council opposes plans to close ticket offices and reduce customer assistance hours at any of the eight railway stations in the city.
The full letter can be read below:
‘Dear Transport Focus,
Brighton & Hove City Council opposes the GTR ticket office and customer assistance proposals.
The city council opposes the closure of any ticket office in principle, and opposes the reduction of any customer assistance hours, both on the grounds that these arrangements would reduce the quality of customer service and accessibility to all.
The proposed arrangements would be very challenging for many customers, especially elderly and Disabled customers, many of whom are not ‘tech-savvy’ and would be put off train travel if they had to try get assistance from concourse staff.
Customer assistance would become less available if the assistance is moved to concourses, and experienced ticket office staff would choose to leave the role if they are moved to concourses, on the frontline of anti-social behaviour.
The council opposes any proposals to close Brighton Station Travel Centre, and opposes any proposals to close any ticket offices across the 8 stations in the Brighton & Hove area (Brighton, Hove, Aldrington, Portslade, Preston Park, London Road, Moulsecoomb, Falmer).
The council opposes the proposal to remove customer assistance hours for London Road and Moulsecoomb stations, and opposes any proposals to reduce or remove the customer assistance hours at any of the eight stations in the Brighton & Hove area.
This consultation response is endorsed by Councillor Trevor Muten, Chair of the City Council’s Transport & Sustainability Committee.
Brighton & Hove City Council’
Councillor Muten said: “These proposals would have a detrimental impact on many of the city’s residents and visitors, many of whom rely on train travel to commute, visit friends and family or simply want to come and enjoy everything Brighton & Hove has to offer.
“Train travel is a popular and sustainable form of transport and we need to make it as easy and as safe as possible for people to use.
“By closing ticket officers and reducing customer assistance hours, we fear many customers would be unable to navigate the ticket purchasing process and simply be put off traveling by train.
“We hope GTR listens carefully to the feedback of concerned passengers and staff and reconsider the proposals.”