Whitchurch is set to lose another local facility if South West Trains achieve their plans to close the railway station’s ticket office on Saturdays. Presently the office is manned from 6.00am to 10.25am but SWT have announced a consultation on closing 24 ticket offices across their area including the one at Whitchurch. The weekday hours are not affected and the office is already unmanned on Sundays.
SWT claim that most rail travellers now use machines, the internet or telephone to purchase tickets, and as a result they need to review their opening hours.
However local users have experienced difficulties as the machines do not always work, run out of change, are badly sighted for sun glare, and do not issue the full range of tickets, such as the GroupSave 4 for 2 offer. Neither are travel tokens catered for and many people experience difficulties which will put them off travelling by train. Without the ticket office being manned the waiting room will also remain closed.
Anyone who wishes to comment are urged to contact Passenger Focus (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as South West Trains at www.southwesttrains.co.uk