That’s a very valid point that will have to be carefully thought of and I’m sure it is on top of TfL’s agenda of things to consider. I believe the station will still be manned so there is assistance available with the machines so the process for the customer doesn’t really change - other than the staff will be standing next to you rather than behind a wall of glass. Still much better than for other modes such as DLR for instance. TfL now had years with Underground to test this approach and had it not been successful I don’t think they would have rolled it out further.
There are still some issues with some products that need ticket office assistance.
Railcards such as Network, Young Persons etc, along with longer than one period season tickets and photocards for them. Also travel vouchers can’t be redeemed at a machine.
This is a shame, the people at Brockley station are so nice. We should let TfL know as these people are part of our community and we should care about them too.
I think it is a standard for stations with the Overground (TFL operated)that they will have staff whenever they are open.
Indeed, it’s part of the concession agreement with Arriva Rail London who operate London Overground that all stations are staffed from first train to last.
I’ve been at FH off the last train from London Bridge and a member of staff is at the gateline, ready to lock up the ticket office.
There is a consultation by London TravelWatch underway which contains more details.
From what I’ve read so far, for SE23, the ticket office at Forest Hill is supposed to remain open but Honor Oak Park is due to close.
The consultation closes on 11th October 2018.
As a regular user of HOP I’m not sure what difference it will make as the booths are rarely manned. One concern though is that the prices from the ticket machine are a total lottery (I have been charged three different amounts for the same journey at the same time).
All I will say is that I would feel bad if anyone lost their job as for them personally it may be very difficult situation.
However, this summer I spent quite some time interacting with the staff and I found it very frustrating especially when I realised that a child ticket bought over the counter with Network Rail discount is more expensive than PAYG on your credit card. This was for a visiting child who did not have their child Oyster card.
On the other hand I managed to upload my discount railway card onto my oyster at Canada Water where I was served by a person by the gate (not in the office). This same thing I could not do at Forest Hill office.
I don’t believe that the people did not want to create frustration to me, as they were bound to what their computer and systems allowed them to do.Now is this fragmentation of services designed for me not to care of losing the ticket offices?
Yes and what is ignored in the stats is people asking for advice. I found it very useful to talk to the kiosk staff about pricing for my daughter’s school commute. When you take into account point to point season tickets and the like, the same comparison was not readily available online and I do not believe that these options are on the ticket machines. If the staff can still access this info without being tied to the ticket booth then that would be something - I wonder if that will be the case?
I agree, trying to find out best price in advance on the website one needs hours of research, whereas a person dealing with this every day could possibly remember the best option.
Then again, I am sure that the complicated fare structure is designed to maximise the income, as there is little benefit to charge you the best fare, as the best fare becomes what you see and accept.
There is also the loss of an outlet to sell an oyster card.
True… but there are Oyster Ticket Stops at Jerayani News and Honor Oak Supermarket. Not the same I know… but at least…
London Reconnections has an article where it shows a table of sales where how many transactions are made at ticket offices through the day.
Out of the affected stations for closure, HOP is busiest during the morning peak during two time periods compared to other affected station ticket offices, which may be a case for keeping it open between 0600-1000 at least when it’s most required.
Last day of consultation, survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CDVZWTM
I’ve done it too (and I am former Chair of London TravelWatch!). I think HOP is unlucky to be picked out when Brockley, Forest Hill etc are unaffected. HOP is only just below 12 tickets ph threshold, and I think the data may have been depressed by industrial action— Stephen Locke (@Gwynforsenior) 10 October 2018
Watchdog forced to postpone closure of London Overground ticket offices after ‘unprecedented and overwhelming’ response
What happens if your Oystercard with loads of credit on stops working and you need to transfer it onto a new one? (Happened to me, sorted at ticket office immediately.)
What happens if your annual rail paper season ticket becomes worn out and unreadable or stops working. (Happened to me several times over the years.)
The machines don’t cut it for anything that isn’t buying a regular ticket or topping up a travelcard. Bad idea.
On the tube ticket machines, there are admin features which allow them to do more complex ticketing issues. This may be the case with the larger machines at least?
Thanks to campaigning by Sydenham Society and Ellie Reeves, station ticket offices have been saved from closure:
Great that it’s been reversed and in the case of Anerley and Penge West are getting extended ticket office hours. These only open during the morning peak currently.
Apple/Android Pay has already made these redundant. I understand not everyone has or wants smartphone with paying capabilities, but it has made life so much simpler for many of us in recent times. I haven’t needed to queue for a ticket or replacement Oyster for 18 months. I am very happy with the new technology, make it easier for everyone to have and close these 20th century relics!