Protest anger over stations shake-up

Thurrock Gazette: The protest at Grays railway station on Tuesday The protest at Grays railway station on Tuesday

PROTESTS have been held amid news train station ticket offices in Thurrock could close, despite some rail fares rocketing 4.2 per cent.

Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association union were at Grays and Chafford Hundred stations on Tuesday morning, revealing Thurrock could be one of the worst hit areas in the country if railway cost saving measures, highlighted in a report commissioned by the Government, are implemented.

Sir Roy McNulty’s ‘Realising the potential of GB rail’ report recommends the closure of ticket offices at category E stations, such as Chafford Hundred, East Tilbury, and Ockendon, and reduced opening hours at ticket offices of category D stations, such as Tilbury Town, Purfleet, and Stanford-le-Hope.

Grays would be the only station in the borough unaffected.

Sam Tarry, a community organiser for TSSA, said: “Next year could be the year of ghost stations and horror fares, with people having to pay more money for less service.

“We’ve had a really positive response from commuters this morning and we’ve given out more than 1,000 leaflets.

“The feedback is people want to see staffed train stations and lower fares.”

TSSA argues when ticket offices are closed passengers lose the chance to seek advice about planning journeys, cheaper tickets, and will be more at risk if they need help at a station, or get attacked.

The protest was also about rising rail fares, with regulated rail fares, such as season tickets, set to rise by an average of 4.2 per cent from January 2.

This means a commuter currently paying £2,484 to travel from Stanford-le-Hope to London Fenchurch Street this year, will pay £104 extra next year.

Labour councillor for West Thurrock and South Stifford, Victoria Holloway, was at Grays train station supporting the protest.

She said: “Unmanned stations and increased fares is something residents in Thurrock don’t want.

“It will cost some commuters more than £3,000 a year for a travelcard into London, which is a huge amount. It’s just not right.”

Commuter Daniel Rhodes, 23, from Aveley, was shocked to hear about the proposed increases.

He said: “I can’t believe rail fares are going up so much when hardly anyone’s salary is.

“As for closing ticket offices, I don’t think that’s a good idea – whenever I try and use the ticket machines at train stations they aren’t even working!”

A spokesman for c2c said: “c2c is finalising its unregulated fare prices for 2013, which we will announce shortly.”

Comments (3)

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3:39pm Wed 12 Dec 12

aerobic1 says...

I am now a frequent user of the trains. The possible loss of ticket offices at some of the Thurrock stations is outrageous - if this goes ahead and the ticket machines do not work at any point what is the alternative for travellers - we need an answer now, as we need to be prepared for when it does happen. Surely the cost of two ticket sellers at each station cannot be that expensive to have to be cut. What about when the new education centre, opposite the Civic Offices in Grays opens. This will produce many more passengers and the majority will be youngsters, getting on at all stations in Thurrock - being a mother of 3, I would like to think that there is someone that they can approach, should there be a problem and also obviously to buy a ticket! I would like to be kept informed.
I am now a frequent user of the trains. The possible loss of ticket offices at some of the Thurrock stations is outrageous - if this goes ahead and the ticket machines do not work at any point what is the alternative for travellers - we need an answer now, as we need to be prepared for when it does happen. Surely the cost of two ticket sellers at each station cannot be that expensive to have to be cut. What about when the new education centre, opposite the Civic Offices in Grays opens. This will produce many more passengers and the majority will be youngsters, getting on at all stations in Thurrock - being a mother of 3, I would like to think that there is someone that they can approach, should there be a problem and also obviously to buy a ticket! I would like to be kept informed. aerobic1
  • Score: 0

9:51pm Thu 13 Dec 12

d_2da_ougle says...

LESS THEN A YEAR after one of your gaurds gets stabbed on the train cleaver move only staffing one station
LESS THEN A YEAR after one of your gaurds gets stabbed on the train cleaver move only staffing one station d_2da_ougle
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Bernard 87 says...

We need clean, safe, staffed stations in 90% of locations. Railways are probably only thing I would be in favour of re-nationalising to stop rail companies trying to squeeze a profit out of the rail user by cutting staff and increasing fares to ridiculous amounts. Railways need the government to regulate them as so many people depend on them. The other side to that argument is that when railways do not make any money it's the taxpayer who has to foot the bill and service suffers. I don't like the current system - it's a money making scam but I'm not too sure if going back to how things were under British Rail is a good idea either.
We need clean, safe, staffed stations in 90% of locations. Railways are probably only thing I would be in favour of re-nationalising to stop rail companies trying to squeeze a profit out of the rail user by cutting staff and increasing fares to ridiculous amounts. Railways need the government to regulate them as so many people depend on them. The other side to that argument is that when railways do not make any money it's the taxpayer who has to foot the bill and service suffers. I don't like the current system - it's a money making scam but I'm not too sure if going back to how things were under British Rail is a good idea either. Bernard 87
  • Score: 0

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