SWT – Response to Ticketing Claims
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South West Trains have responded to claims from the city’s MP that they have been deliberately pulling back on ticketing services in the weeks to when they lose their franchise in mid-August and neglecting the city.
This is what Steve told Winchester Today: “South West Trains have done so much for Winchester and I’ve worked closely with them to deliver improvements such as the footbridge, increased parking, the brilliant new cycle hub and improved late night staffing.
“However, I think they’re letting themselves, and us, down at the last by closing the London side ticket office during the morning rush and still not addressing the unreliability of the ticket machines. This has been going on for some time but it’s really starting to bite.”
Steve said that he had been contacted by frustrated constituents who say increasing delays have caused them to miss trains or be forced to board without a valid ticket: “It’s no use closing the ticket office if you don’t have sufficient machines to cope and those that are there refuse to take certain cards or go offline when passengers need them most.
“My message to SWT, who continue to run a largely reliable service into the city, is to make sure they go out with a flourish not a whimper. My constituents have spent a lot of money with them over the years of this franchise and we deserve nothing less.”
A notice had also been pinned to the ticketing office on the London bound platform, saying it was closed until further notice:
A South West Trains spokesperson gave this response to Winchester Today: “We’ve invested significantly throughout our franchise in extra ticketing facilities and delivering improvements to our stations and we were pleased to read Mr Brine’s comments on the improvements he has personally seen at Winchester.
“However, there appears to have been some misunderstanding that has resulted in the ticket office on one side of the station being temporarily unstaffed. We have not made any recent changes to the number of staff at the station and from tomorrow (Wednesday 5 July), we will be ensuring that the two members of staff at the station are covering both of the ticket offices.
“The issue with the ticket machines was a supplier issue which affected many train companies across the country and was resolved on the same day.”