Our train station has been getting a refresh with lamp-posts and other parts repainted over the past week.
Unfortunately, the Stagecoach South West Trains have decided to shut the station ticket-office on Saturdays, according to the Press Association, leaving many families and casual users unable to easily purchase discount fares or find the cheapest ticket for family travel. Update: article in Basingstoke Gazette HERE.
Instead, weekend travellers will be required to book ahead over the Internet to get discounted or group-save tickets.
Our local MP, Sir George Young said, “I have some sympathy with SWT, who want to take sensible steps to contain costs, not least to minimise the upward pressure on fares. The ticket office at Whitchurch closes at 11.15 on a weekday, so it has already been operating restricted hours. However, it is important that those who don’t buy a ticket, because the office is closed, should not be penalised by losing out on discounts.”
An informal chat with an employee of SWT indicated that less than half of the required 12 transactions per hour were occuring on Saturday mornings.