Centro, a UK based organisation operating bus, rail and Midland Metro Tram transport in the West Midlands area, has responded to a reduction in ticket office hours announced earlier by London Midland.
The lead member for transforming rail in Centro, Cllr Roger Horton, said, ‘Passengers tell us they like to see a staff presence at stations because it makes them feel safe.
Not only do staff perform a critical role in customer service but they act as a deterrent to criminal or anti-social behaviour. You don’t get that from a ticket machine.
This decision does nothing for passengers. It is a great pity that London Midland and the Department for Transport did not adopt our solution that would have delivered operational efficiencies and, most importantly, have met the needs of passengers.
If that is the case (when London Midland has said that reducing staff will not save them cost) we fail to see why they did not listen to the 18,000 passengers and disabled groups who objected.
We also fail to see what possible benefits there are to London Midland, the Department for Transport, or, most importantly, the passengers in driving through these changes. I can fully understand if passengers feel angry. They are entitled to be.’
Earlier, London Midland, the company that operates train services from London to Birmingham in the Midlands, and Liverpool in the northwest, announced receiving approval from the UK Department for Transport to review its ticket office opening hours.
London Midland will be closing down its ticket offices in Cheddington, Lye, Witton, and Wythall; while it will be operating at reduced hours at Adderley Park, Bescot Stadium, Duddeston, Jewellery Quarter, and Small Heath.