Southeastern, and other operators, are confirming an extension to the consultation period on the future of ticket offices, originally announced on 5 July 2023. The consultation will now conclude on 1 September 2023. Southeastern is committed to providing information in a wider range of formats, to ensure the consultation is accessible and people and organisations responding to it can be as fully informed as possible.
Southeastern is committed to openness and transparency and genuine good faith consultation on the future of ticket offices. In that light, following dialogue with a number of groups and individuals, including those representing customers with accessibility needs, it’s been decided to extend its ticket office consultation from three to eight weeks. It is hoped this will give as many people as possible the chance to understand and respond to this consultation and in a way that works for them.
Southeastern is currently consulting on the future of 40 ticket offices in the Pay As You Go area where most people travel using tap in tap out technology. Equality Impact Assessments, future staffing hours and station by station information is available on our website. To make their consultation robust, Southeastern has previously committed to consulting on the future of ticket offices in two phases, given the number of stations on their route, so people have a meaningful opportunity to respond to local issues. It is planned the next phase of consultation will take place later this year. This will consider the future of ticket offices on the remainder of our railway including the upgrade of some ticket offices to Travel Centres which will sell the full range of retail products currently available in ticket offices but in an environment which is more welcoming to customers.
Responses to our current consultation should be sent to London Travelwatch, who together with Transport Focus, have received around 170,000 responses so far to this consultation.
Steve White, Managing Director of Southeastern said:
“Our aim is to create a better, safer and more accessible railway at a lower cost to the taxpayer. It is important to get the details right for our customers, so we want this consultation to be meaningful and we want to provide information about it in a way that works for everyone who wants to know about it. By extending the duration of this consultation and providing information about it in formats like braille and British Sign Language, we hope we will be able to do that.
“We want to develop the railway that enables more customers to self-serve who are happy to do so and provides assistance to those who need it. Our current proposals are to close 40 of our quietest ticket offices whilst maintaining or increasing station staffing hours, to restaff five stations which currently have vacancies and to enable our colleagues to help more customers, in more ways, every day. If agreed, these changes would be implemented over the next two years.
“I want to recognise the work London TravelWatch are doing in collating the huge number of responses they are receiving to this consultation; and thank my colleagues whose future careers will be shaped by this consultation. For them and our customers, this consultation matters and we want to get it right.”