Islington Labour challenges proposed Overground ticket office closures
Arriva Rail London is proposing to close ticket offices at two London Overground stations in Islington – Canonbury Station and Caledonian Road and Barnsbury Station – as part of plans to close 51 ticket offices across the network.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment & Transport, has responded to the consultation on the proposals, which runs until 11th October, raising concerns about the impact of the closures on local people, especially disabled, elderly and more vulnerable people.
Cllr Webbe commented:
“Islington Council is committed to making our borough a fairer place for all, and this includes working hard to deliver a transport network that is sustainable, accessible and genuinely affordable for all local people.
“I am concerned that the proposed closures of ticket offices in Islington will have a negative impact on disabled, elderly and other more vulnerable people. Staffed ticket offices provide help and advice for many people, and everyone knows where to go for help when a ticket office is open.
“What we need are more staff on our stations to support passengers, as well as open ticket offices, and I have made that clear in my response to the consultation.”
In her response to the consultation, which has also been sent to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, Cllr Webbe highlights the different support ticket offices provide passengers, other than through ticket sales. This includes providing ticket and route information, as well as being a fixed location at a station where people know they can speak to a staff member when the offices are open.
There are currently over 100 staff vacancies at Overground stations, and Cllr Webbe has called for Arriva to add additional staff to stations.
The consultation is being run by London TravelWatch and responses can be submitted here until 11th October.