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Rail Companies pledge to address concerns before closing ticket offices

Following opposition to the proposed closure of several rail station ticket offices, the rail companies concerned have pledged that they will address the issues raised by the local MP and users. 

The rail operators announced in February that they had launched a consultation into the closure of the ticket offices at stations including Tooting, Balham and Wandsworth Common and their replacement with “station hosts.” The consultation closed on 10 March. 

When the consultation was launched, MP for Tooting, Sadiq Khan, wrote to the rail operators raising his concerns, which included the need for clarity on how travellers would buy complex tickets such as half termly travel cards for children commuting to school or annual and monthly passes.

Sadiq Khan said: “I was also concerned that some customers had been told that the best way for them to purchase their tickets once these changes came in would be online, which would leave those customers without access to the internet with restricted options.”

A spokesman for Govia Th​ameslink Railway assured Sadiq Khan that the rail operators were listening to the concerns he and others had raised and will take “actions to address them”. 

Sadiq Khan said: “I am glad that rail operators have pledged to address my concerns and those of customers. However, before a final decision is made, it is vital that the public is reassured that the consultation process was fair, thorough and comprehensive, so I have written again to the rail operators to request details of the number of passengers who responded and what they said. If it turns out that this consultation was inadequate, I will be pushing for a second round of consultation in order to ensure passengers are heard”. 

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