Campaigners speak to commuters over possible station office closure

General / Mon 17th Jul 2023 at 05:42pm

CAMPAIGNERS have been down to Harlow’s railway stations to speak to commuters regarding possible closures to ticket offices.

Councillor Chris Vince joined them on Monday morning. The Harlow Labour leader has also responded to a recent statement by Harlow MP Robert Halfon on the matter.

Cllr Vince said: “Harlow’s current Conservative MP naive or deliberately trying to mislead commuters? Perhaps both!

Mr Halfon claims to have assurances from Greater Anglia that closures of ticket offices will not lead to a reduction in staff. Only time will tell if this is true but that’s not really the point. Ticket office closures will severely impact service delivery to all and especially to the most vulnerable members of our communities.

However, surely even he realises the cynical ploy being used to move existing ticket office staff on to new contracts giving them worse terms and conditions, degrading staff and their knowledge, that’s if they do indeed keep to existing staffing levels, about which I remain skeptical. Perhaps Mr Halfon just doesn’t care?

This week we have heard from Harlow paralympic hero Anne Strike about the importance of having a manned ticket office, the Down’s Syndrome Association have spoken out against the plans highlighting how it will restrict the independent travel options of people with learning difficulties, and talking to commuters in Harlow shows they too oppose the proposals.

“I urge everyone to take part in this consultation but I am concerned that, like so many of the Government’s terrible proposals, this is already a done deal”.

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13 Comments for Campaigners speak to commuters over possible station office closure:

Kim Oconnor
2023-07-18 08:26:40

No thought s to the vulnerable, no thoughts to the elderly, no thought s to people who who have disabilities.... this council now saying there take people out of ticket office and place on the floor...... you know and I know, this will not happen..... this is a profit thing,, pure and simple.

Emma Batrick
2023-07-18 08:52:39

It’s not the council, Kim, it’s the government.

David Forman
2023-07-18 09:33:08

Bring the railways back into public ownership to save on fatcat director salaries, dividends and bonuses. The railways were nationalised in the late 1940's by Attlee's Labour government because the private companies had run them into the ground, which is the situation we are in now.

2023-07-18 11:46:25

Same happened on the London underground. With staff on new contracts and minimum staffing on all but Central London stations. Ticket options too complex on National rail and users need the experiance of the ticket office staff to buy the best value ticket. There are over 3,500 ticket options. I know I worked for 20 years on the underground with main line services running through so had to know all the ticket variants. You won't get that from a machine.

Kim Oconnor
2023-07-18 19:31:50

Emma Batrick,, I do know it's the government... But last week the Harlow council put a post on your Harlow saying there taking them out of ticket office and placing on the floor... David foreman,, correct..

James Leppard
2023-07-18 21:44:00

Kim O'Connor, Harlow Council has absolutely nothing to do with the administration of the railways. I think you are completely mistaken.

James Leppard
2023-07-18 21:48:46

Incidentally, it would certainly be novel for Harlow Labour councillors to enlighten us all on their plans and strategies ( fully costed) for Harlow rather than pontificate endlessly on matters where Harlow Council has absolutely no role or influence. They use every national issue as a smokescreen for their complete lack of any local policies as highlighted by their decade of failure in administration.

Bruce Downey
2023-07-19 04:51:51

Kim nice but dim, get your facts right..

2023-07-19 07:34:44

James stop picking a fight with an individual as a diversion or smoke screen to dodge the issue, the Conservative government has run the country into the ground, pushed thousands into poverty whilst enriching their friend, foreign speculators and governments, all based on the idea of that austerity for all but their ruling class will make life better. Running the public services like rail, education, the nhs, water sewage services down cutting trillions and only putting back millions and then blaming the workers for poor services is a clear and well known strategy woven into the tory mindset. It's privatisation by stealth, a policy pushed Maggie Thatcher and by every tory PM since. The hard line gleefully adopted the Tories when working people strike, not simply for pay but to protect their service, is simply a lever to make matters worse in order to divert the blame on to those workers. In the case of ticket offices no one is fooled, it's another cut. There's a very large and increasing number of the population who find these machines difficult to use, it's well known they don't give the cheapest ticket and they break down. If the whole network ran on one coherent pricing system then it might be easier, but even then the proposed change is again put as an "either or or" question whereas millions of us want both and more. Guys in the ticket offices in booking halls and guys on the platform and porters at the road rail interface. Add to that No unmanned stations, decent waiting rooms and free clean toilets. Instead the government squanders money on HS2 (now delayed) in the South of the country to save a few minutes to get from London to Birmingham when simply adopting higher capacity carriages and adapting stations would have been better and more immediate solution. Privatisation as exemplified by Thames Water literally stinks.

James Leppard
2023-07-19 09:34:23

Nostradamus, my point stands. Cllr Vince is the leader of the Labour opposition in Harlow Council. His focus should be on matters that fall within the remit of the council and not extraneous factors over which Harlow Council has little or no influence. When you speak of smokescreens, this is a clear case in point, demonstrating that Harlow Labour has no viable plans for the town.

David Forman
2023-07-19 09:58:22

James Leppard forgets that Cllr Chris Vince has a burning ambition to be a Member of Parliament, hence his preoccupation with matters at a national level. Although I disagree with Cllr Leppard's view that Harlow Labour have "all the gear and no idea", I would say that watching Labour in action at Cabinet meetings attempting to scrutinize the Conservative administration is excruciatingly frustrating. If you consider their performance at Cabinet and if that was translated into an equivalent performance whilst in administration, a recommendation to emigrate would be appropriate.

2023-07-19 13:57:48

James and David stop the ya boo politicking. The complaint has nothing to do with Labour but your bad habit of picking on individual members of the public as a smokescreen. Frankly we, the electorate, don't give a dam about the theatre of parties picking fights and personality politics it's results that matter. The trouble with political parties is political parties, followers and elected representatives blindly following a party line, so failing residents, avoiding true consultation, not listening and not debating the real issues. It's an old problem as illustrated by G&S: "By a pocket borough into Parliament. I always voted at my party's call, And I never thought of thinking For myself at all. [CHORUS] He never thought of Thinking for himself at all. I thought so little, they rewarded me By making me the ruler Of the Queen's Navy." A totally corrupted system still in operation.

James Leppard
2023-07-20 04:21:43

Nostradamus, on a lighter note, good to hear some G&S HMS Pinafore. Be good if the Playhouse tan a production.

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