Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Stevenage, Alex Clarkson, has written to the consultation on closing Stevenage and Knebworth stations' ticket offices and objected to the proposal.
Read his letter below:
I am writing to you regarding your consultation to close the ticket offices at both Stevenage and Knebworth train stations.
I strongly oppose the proposals to close these ticket offices. As a local resident and frequent rail user, I know ticket office staff are vital in providing information and assistance to rail users, especially when things go wrong.
Having a clearly sign-posted place in the station where enquiries can be dealt with is of immense value to local people, especially the elderly and disabled. The loss of the ticket offices at Stevenage and Knebworth stations would be detrimental to many residents.
Blind and partially sighted people are particularly reliant on public transport, including railways, to get from A to B and go about their lives independently. I strongly support the concerns raised by Guide Dogs that the roving staff proposal for some stations will not be accessible or reliable for many visually impaired residents. It is concerning that these vulnerable residents will struggle to identify where they can get help.
Our ticket offices are important for complicated rail journeys involving multiple connections. Your staff offer invaluable support in helping to give customers tickets that are appropriate and often cheaper than using the automated terminals.
Ultimately, many local people prefer the human touch when trying to navigate the often complex set of ticket options, particularly for journeys with multiple connections.
Please reconsider these proposals and keep our ticket offices at Stevenage and Knebworth stations open.
Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Stevenage