Changes to Hampton Court Station ticket office opening times
The following letter was sent from MRA councillor Mike Axton to Passenger Focus concerning the proposed changes to ticket office opening times at Hampton Court Station. (The proposal is for the ticket office to open 06:30 – 18:30 Mon-Fri, 08:00 – 18:00 on Sat and closed on Sundays. For more information read the article from the Molesey News and Mail here.)
Dear Sir or Madam
Proposed Changes to South West Trains Ticket Office Hours
I am writing on behalf of the Molesey Residents Association to express my concerns about proposals by South West Trains to change the ticket office opening times at Hampton Court Station.
I believe that the proposals for Hampton Court Station are unacceptable, and that they will have a disproportionate impact on the residents of Molesey, and on tourist visitors to Hampton Court Palace.
The proposals involve closing the ticket office altogether on Sundays, and reducing the opening hours on other days. The ticket office provides a vital service, allowing people to purchase tickets, obtain travel information and use our stations in safety. These proposals represent a considerable deterioration in this service to the public.
The proposals are likely to lead to an increase in bicycle theft, already a problem at Hampton Court (where I have personally had a bike stolen in the past), and they will have a knock on effect on facilities such as the recently opened toilets at Hampton Court Station, since toilets are normally closed when a station is unmanned.
I also have concerns about the fairness of relying solely on ticket vending machines. These machines offer tickets at set prices when, at the same time, better prices for the same journey can be obtained at a staffed ticket office. There will inevitably be situations in which customers are over-charged, even if they do not realise it.
I am aware that some commuter stations may be fairly quiet on a Sunday, but this is certainly not the case at Hampton Court Station, which is the principal tourist transport service for Hampton Court Palace, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.