Hounslow Council Objects to Ticket Office Closure Proposals

Says plan is unfair on people with disabilities and makes stations less safe

Brentford station set to lose its ticket office. Picture: Sunil060902

August 1, 2023

Hounslow Council has published its formal response into the ongoing consultation into ticket office closures at local stations.

Jefferson Nwokeoma, Assistant Director, Traffic, Transport & Parking has written to London TravelWatch which is co-ordinating the consultation expressing concern about the proposals.

South Western Railway wants to completely shut the remaining four ticket offices in the borough including Chiswick and Brentford.

Mr Nwokeoma says, “ We recognise that technology and the pandemic have changed the way we travel in many ways but there are still residents for whom in-person support is a necessary part of their journey and which could be the difference between them making a trip or
not. Under the Equality Act 2010, private bodies carrying out public functions still have a responsibility to ensure equal access and treatment for all individuals, regardless of their protected characteristics. This proposal will disproportionately affect individuals with disabilities, the elderly, ethnic groups, lower-income backgrounds and those who are digitally excluded.

He says SWR must be clear in how they intend to ensure adequate assistance remains in place at stations where it is proposed to remove ticket offices and at times where there are currently staff available to assist adding that until an Equalities Impact Assessment has been
submitted and appropriate mitigation measures put into place the council objects to the station change proposals.

He points out that for stations like Brentford where there are multiple entrances, the chances of finding assistance will be reduced if there is no longer a dedicated ticket office.

Concerns are also expressed about the safety risks of withdrawing staff from stations particularly for women. He raises a serious incident that took place at Isleworth Station in which a group of secondary aged pupils crossed live tracks between platforms. This was
reported to and followed up by the relevant school swiftly which wouldn’t have been possible without staff working at the station.

It is also contended that increased usage of Syon Lane, due to step free access being provided, and Kew Bridge, due to increased match day demand, should result in increased staffing at these stations.

Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment and Transport and Deputy Leader of the Council, said, “I along with our Council officers have read the proposals and I am concerned that this proposal will disproportionately affect certain individuals in our communities. There are residents for whom in-person support is a necessary part of their journey and which could be the difference between them making a trip or not.

“The Council’s Transport Strategy sets out targets for increasing the use of public transport in the borough. This means ensuring that public transport is fully accessible for everyone so that none of Hounslow’s residents are prevented from making essential journeys. As a borough we have been committed to improving access for all to our rail and underground network supporting the delivery of Step-Free access at Syon Lane Station, Osterley Tube station and currently Isleworth Station, where new lifts are due to open in late 2023.

“I am equally worried about the wider safety and personal security for everyone on the network including vulnerable members of society. Women’s safety is a key issue across the country, which is not helped by these proposals, not only for passengers but for the staff who will be without a base should the ticket offices close. “

Proposed Changes for Selected Stations

Day Current ticket office opening hours Proposed station staffing hours
Monday 6:15am - 10:15am Unstaffed
Tuesday 6:15am - 10:15am 6:00am - 10:00am
Wednesday 6:15am - 10:15am 6:00am - 10:00am
Thursday 6:15am - 10:15am 6:00am - 10:00am
Friday 6:15am - 10:15am 6:00am - 10:00am
Saturday Unstaffed 9:00am - 1:00pm
Sunday Unstaffed Unstaffed

Day Current ticket office opening hours Proposed station staffing hours
Monday 6:30am - 10:30am 6:00am - 10:00am
Tuesday 6:30am - 10:30am 6:00am - 10:00am
Wednesday 6:30am - 10:30am 6:00am - 10:00am
Thursday 6:30am - 10:30am 6:00am - 10:00am
Friday 6:30am - 10:30am Unstaffed
Saturday Unstaffed Unstaffed
Sunday Unstaffed 9:00am - 1:00pm

You can email your response the consultation to: swr.consultation@londontravelwatch.org.uk up until 1 September.

Or write to:

London TravelWatch
PO Box 5594

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