The consultation period on proposed changes to ticket offices, including those near to Harrow, has come to a close, drawing a staggering 680,000 responses, according to reports from London TravelWatch and Transport Focus.
As of Friday, 1st September, the curtain fell on the highly-debated consultation, shedding light on the myriad of worries voiced by the public and stakeholders. The concerns revolved around accessibility, safety, and security, as well as issues related to ticket machines and the future staffing of train stations.
In a bid to foster transparency and ensure public engagement, London TravelWatch and Transport Focus will dedicate the upcoming weeks to meticulously dissecting the train operator proposals alongside the public consultation responses. They are expected to present their official stance on the matter by the 31st of October.
The anticipated response from the watchdogs will be made accessible to the public, shedding light on the volume of responses received and the key concerns raised during the consultation process.
Michael Roberts, chief executive of the independent transport watchdog, London TravelWatch, said: “We’ve had an incredible response from the public with more than half a million responses so it’s important we take this time to consider our response.
“We are particularly interested in how individual stations will be staffed, how accessible they will be, options for buying tickets and whether passengers will be able to access facilities such as lifts, waiting rooms and toilets.”
If London TravelWatch and Transport Focus object to the train company proposals, the train operators retain the option to escalate the matter to the Secretary of State for a final decision. The Department for Transport has already published a comprehensive guidance document outlining the approach that the Secretary of State will adopt in the event of such an appeal.
The fate of ticket offices in Harrow and across England hangs in the balance, as we await the next steps in this pivotal consultation process.