Concern over rail station staff levels

I AM not sure about the difference between train journeys now and in the past.

One thing that I have definitely noticed (since moving here from London) is that for such a busy station, there seem to be very few staff.

Last week I had to renew my season ticket. Unfortunately I had left it a bit late.

Imagine my horror when I turned up at the ticket office to find a queue struggling outside the door.

There were only two staff on and, as well as the customers in the queue, there were tens of students hanging around outside.

Where there used to be two or three people at the ticket gate, this is now often one or sometimes none at all (with the gates open).

On one occasion last week when travelling back late from work in London, I noticed a sole member of staff receiving terrible abuse and threatening behaviour from someone trying to get through without a ticket.

It seems to me that Southern, while receiving huge incentive payments from the government (ie us taxpayers), have fewer and fewer staff.

No doubt the appearance of many more self-service ticket machines means that they are hoping to lose even more employees.

They should be employing more and I suspect that eventually the station will run with a handful of railway staff at peak times.

After all, during the summer months in particular, Eastbourne station is incredibly busy.

Give the customers the staff to back up the service they pay for.

Christopher Hitchens

Caroline Way.