Bexhill railway station ticket office changes concern campaigners

Bexhill Rail Action Group chairman Hugh Sharp
Bexhill Rail Action Group chairman Hugh Sharp
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Campaigners are concerned about the proposed reduction in ticket office opening times at Bexhill station.

Railway operators GTR unveiled plans to close ticket offices at off-peak times at the station on Wednesday (February 3).

The Bexhill Rail Action Group (BRAG) believes older passengers rely on the ticket office and only using ticket machines will cost commuters.

Chairman Hugh Sharp said: “Although these changes sound reasonable in principle, BRAG has a number of reservations.

“Firstly Bexhill has a lot of older residents who rely on advice from the booking office, especially when purchasing tickets for long-distance journey.

“There is a baffling array of different fares, and we know from experience that both portable and static ticket vending machines regularly fail to offer ‘best-value’ ticket options.”

Bexhill station is earmarked for a ‘third wave’ of modernisation where staff would be turned into station hosts who would help people use the ticket machines and assist passengers in general on the platform.

Mr Sharp said BRAG has told Southern Railways about the issues with leaving ticket offices unstaffed in the past and will participate in the forthcoming consultation.

“When staff are working at a fixed point in a ticket office, passengers know where to find them, and that in itself is important when people are in a hurry to catch a train,” he said.

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