Hornchurch & Upminster MP, Julia Lopez, has today raised further concerns on behalf of Havering residents about the planned closure of Upminster Station’s ticket office.
Train operating companies across the country are consulting on proposals to move ticket office staff out of ticket offices and onto platforms and concourses as ‘floorwalkers’, where they may help passengers with ticket-based and other queries throughout stations.
Mrs Lopez first raised concerns about the plans in July, but with the consultation extended, she has now shared more feedback from residents concerned about a reduction in service. Worries have been raised that the redeployment of staff could have an impact on travellers who most need extra help such as the disabled and elderly. Under current proposals, the provision of ‘floorwalkers’ at Upminster Station closely mirrors the current operating hours of the ticket office Monday – Saturday however no floorwalkers are proposed to operate on Sundays. This would represent a clear reduction in service levels on a Sunday (the ticket office currently operates 06:15-20:00) and the MP has asked c2c to change their proposals so that there is no reduction in the hours in which staff trained to provide ticketing advice are on site.
Within her submissions to London Travelwatch, who are conducting the consultation on behalf of train operators, Mrs Lopez has highlighted instances where a range of passengers may require additional support. This includes those who have learning disabilities with carers that cannot carry bank cards on their behalf, those who are blind or partially sighted and those with mobility issues who may be unable to seek out floorwalking staff across the station. The Hornchurch & Upminster MP has therefore called upon c2c to ensure that there are accessible facilities through which passengers who require assistance may call for it at entry points to the station.
Commenting, Julia Lopez MP said: ‘I have received a significant volume of correspondence from residents about these station plans, which I have been eager to share with both London Travelwatch and c2c. While the experience at TfL stations shows that this model of service can be effective, the plan won’t work if there are no ‘floorwalkers’ on certain days of the week or if the service received by passengers is depersonalised or empty stations feel less safe.’
Copies of both of Julia Lopez MP's consultation contributions can be accessed below this article.