The de facto closure of the Eastbourne Railway Station booking office [Herald, June 17] is very misguided and will damage the tourist town.
The closing time is cleverly chosen to discriminate against holders of bus passes, who will be lucky to get there between the start of bus pass validity at 9.30am and closing time. I pity the ‘station hosts’ who are likely to be besieged with queues and are probably going to have great difficulty with tickets for unusual routes and language problems.
The whole situation is driven by the Government, as the only way the franchisee can make money is by cutting staff costs. This is also what drives the wicked and dangerous proposal to eliminate guards from trains. Govia’s South Eastern franchise had examples of basic problems when drivers of trains with no guard to check the passengers were clear and doors closed could not start away as the mirrors on the platforms they had to rely on were obscured.
Why are we stuck with a nationally-owned network run by a load of contractors? Either fully privatise it or nationalise it, not the stupid half and half nonsense with the DfT hiding all the interference it continually imposes. Those of us who responded to the original consultation on this franchise demonstrated that it was fatally flawed and unfit for purpose, but civil servants, not railwaymen, think they know best. Poor passengers.
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