MP fights railway ticket office cuts

ImageAlan Whitehead MP (Soton Test) is campaigning against South West Trains' plans to reduce ticket office opening hours at a number of smaller stations in the South - including at St Denys.

"At a time when the number of people travelling by train is at a record high and Southampton is struggling to reduce congestion, this move by South West Trains sends completely the wrong message," said Dr Whitehead. "I look forward to campaigning with local train staff to make the point that these cuts can not be justified."

Alan Whitehead MP
Alan Whitehead MP

Under South West Trains' proposals, St Denys - along with Woolston and Swaythling stations - would be completely unstaffed at weekends and would have its weekday hours reduced.


Dr Whitehead has taken the campaign to Parliament, having tabled an Early Day Motion* which says:

"That this House notes with extreme concern plans by South West Trains to close ticket offices and cut ticket office opening hours at 114 stations;

- believes that such cuts cannot be justified when these stations have seen a combined increase in passengers of nearly 27 per cent. in the last year;

- is further concerned that the cuts will dramatically increase the number of stations that will lose their ticket offices entirely during weekends and will leave stations unstaffed at weekends and in the evening making railway stations and passengers who use them feel less secure;

- believes that replacing staff with ticket machines will also reduce the quality and range of services available to passengers; and calls on South West Trains immediately to withdraw its plans."

Dr Whitehead will be campaigning in person at Southampton Central Station on July 18, joined by fellow Southampton Labour MP John Denham and Romsey Lib Dem MP Sandra Gidley - see also this Daily Echo story - and further Echo update (July 28) here.

* Early Day Motions

Early day motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. However, very few are actually debated. Instead, they are used for publicising the views of individual MPs, drawing attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view.

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