Southeastern stations to see staffing cuts if ticket offices close

A consultation has been launched on plans to close tickets offices with Southeastern confirming staff will be cut at some stations.

The government-run company has been reducing staff numbers for some time with dozens of stations left unstaffed each day since at least 2021. That’s above and beyond already limited staffing at numerous stations.

Closure plans

Today the company have put up a page on proposals which are the result of government demands from the Department for Transport and Treasury, which state that for medium and larger stations:

Overall, these stations will have fewer staff but they will be better able to support our customers following enhanced training and being empowered to assist people face-to-face.”

Woolwich Arsenal frequently understaffed with gates open

They do however also state that “at 18 of these smaller stations, where vacancies have resulted in a temporarily unstaffed station, these stations will be restaffed as staff are deployed where they are most needed.”

Perhaps one to take with a pinch of salt long term, as there was never any consultation on those 18 becoming unstaffed “temporarily” in the first place.

One wonders after redeployment how many other “temporary” short staffing issues will then arise. And the company do state: “We’ve been open that there is a cost saving element to this”.

Ticket office closures long been the norm across SE network

They also claim a longer staff presence at some stations, though others see little improvement and those making decisions appear not to realise changing local factors.

Woolwich Dockyard, for example, remains unstaffed most of the time despite a large number of new homes being built in the vicinity.

Morris Walk rebuild now underway

The bigger question is do Southeastern recover by continual cuts which can drive people away, or putting on a service that brings about recovery?

For Southeastern and SE Metro, they’re badly lagging various TfL modes of transport in recovering revenue and passenger numbers.

Each day the Southeastern network already sees short staffing which far exceeds 18 stations mentioned by the company, with around 30 stations on average listed. Sometimes it’s as high as 50 stations short-staffed on a given day.

Plumstead station closed during evening peak

The Department for Transport-owned company have lacked funds to hire staff or maintain even relatively low levels of staffing compared to other networks.

Today we again see dozens of stations impacted. What is proposed nationally of closing ticket offices seems to have been happening at Southeastern for some time already – but not with staff redeployed. Instead with the end result of unstaffed stations.

Note, none of these stations below listed today – and this is but a fraction –  are among those 18 that have been “temporarily” left unstaffed (often for some time) and would see additional staffing.

Just a fraction of some of today’s ticket office closures

The destiny of most stations across the country?

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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    3 thoughts on “Southeastern stations to see staffing cuts if ticket offices close

    • South Eastern seems to be what ministers desire even though users can see in London its self-defeating. A network with stations that aren’t staffed, ticket gates left wide open where paying is optional and theres no staff on trains to ensure safety or check tickets.

      It must cost a ton in lost revenue. Idiotic management really. Unless they actively want to reduce revenue as an excuse to kill off services? Moronic either way.

    • Southeastern just proves how 💩💩💩 they are and have been.

    • Who will the revenue protection/barrier staff pay in their penalty fare/ticket revenue into if the ticket office is closed? If they pay it in themselves, it will be a breach of cash regulations. Otherwise they will need to pay another member of staff to be there, who may as well be open as a ticket office!! On the other hand, it is always safe for them to travel all the way to on way to a ‘big’ station and have the risk of them being mugged of their cash. Sitting ducks on a Driver Only Operated train springs to mind.

      Notice there are NO closures proposed anywhere in Scotland, Wales, Merseyside or on Crossrail/Overground? Even ticket offices in England run by Transport for Wales (Chester, Shrewsbury) are staying open.


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