No plans to close ticket office at West St Leonards

A TRAIN company has assured commuters there are no plans to close the ticket office at West St Leonards station.

Southeastern, which runs services from Hastings to London’s Charing Cross via Battle and Tunbridge Wells, was quick to quash fears after the national press reported this week that the station’s ticket office, alongside 674 other ones across the UK, could close and be replaced by ticket machines.

The full list of 675 stations is said to appear in a report by Sir Roy McNulty on how to achieve savings in the railway industry. It was made public by the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA).

The union’s leader, Gerry Doherty, warned that if the proposals were passed, passengers would feel less safe travelling and would find it more difficult to buy tickets.

The TSSA said those on the list were stations that served less than 250,000 passengers a year and where ticket offices open for less than 10 hours a day, usually in the morning and evening peak hours.

A spokesman for Southeastern said: “This is a political issue and was included in the McNulty report, which the Department of Transport has not seen and responded to yet.

“In our franchise it states ticket offices have to be open and goes into what hours they will be open. We cannot change anything without the Department of Transport approval, so it will be up to them to close any ticket offices or reduce times.”