Transport East responds to the consultation of rail station ticket office closures

Train moving on tracks. Blurred background.

We believe to make train an attractive option for making journeys, it is essential for train services to be accessible, convenient, easy to use and competitive in terms of cost and journey time with other modes of transport. We also recognise the need to balance those customer service objectives with managing costs. 

We were pleased to see the industry respond to the complaints about the original consultation length and extend the deadline for responses. However, this approach should have been adopted initially to allow as many people to engage as possible. Point E of the Cabinet office consultation guidelines (2018) sets out guidance for how long consultations should be and while they do not give a minimum period they state: “Consulting too quickly will not give enough time for consideration and will reduce the quality of responses.”  

We are concerned that the proposals to close most ticket offices in the region will make train travel more difficult for many passengers, especially those less familiar with the railway network and those with additional needs, and so discourage train use.  

Our comments primarily focus on: 

  • Ticketing options and purchase methods to buy the best value ticket(s) 
  • The availability of advice and support at stations for customers 
  • The safety and accessibility of the rail network 
  • The future use of ticket offices and how these spaces will be used 

We have set out more detailed comments about specific areas of the proposals in our full consultation response which is available here.