Ticket office consultation feedback
Ticket Office consultation feedback
Thank you to our customers and stakeholders who submitted responses to the consultation on the ticket office changes.
Following their analysis of the public feedback, the passenger bodies, London TravelWatch and Transport Focus announced their feedback on Tuesday, 31 October 2023, on our proposals to improve the customer experience at Chiltern Railways stations and to reflect changes in customer purchasing behaviour at our stations.
We would like to thank the passenger bodies for their detailed feedback. In their feedback, both passenger bodies have acknowledged our proposals, and we are pleased they have accepted many of the criteria set by them around staffing and access to products. However, they have identified industry-wide concerns, including Welcome Points, future regulations, and queuing times, and have objected to the proposals at an industry level. As a result, Chiltern, along with the rest of the rail industry, will not be taking our proposals forward.
The case for change
We are proposing changes to ticket offices to improve the customer experience at Chiltern Railways stations and to reflect changes in customer purchasing behaviour. There has been a clear trend away from purchasing tickets at stations over the last 10 years. This has then been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This proposal forms part of the plan to modernise the railway and bring it more in line with modern consumer expectations. It reflects significantly reduced usage of ticket offices over the past decade as customers move to alternative, more convenient ways of buying tickets.
Between Wednesday 5 July and Friday 1 September 2023, people were invited to send their comments to the passenger bodies, Transport Focus and London TravelWatch, on proposals about how tickets are sold from our stations and to improve customer service.
What was the proposal?
Under the proposals, ticket office colleagues would transition to multi-skilled ‘customer help’ roles - already in place in many parts of the network, such as Bicester Village and Oxford Parkway Stations.
This means staff will be brought closer to customers by moving out from the ticket office into the public areas of stations where they would be able to better provide fares advice and support customers with accessibility needs.
Our proposal is for you to purchase your travel online or via mobile apps before arriving at the station. However, if you are unable to do so, staff will be available at stations to assist with your ticket purchase from self-service ticket vending machines.
Our stations will continue to be staffed and the hours of operation where we have a member of staff on the station will remain the same as it is today.
Click on the video below to see how existing stations on our Network operate with the proposed model:
What this means for you
Buying a ticket:
- Under the proposed plans tickets that cannot be purchased through self-serve ticket machines will be available from our team members in the station that have access to an enhanced mobile device that can provide them.
- Our self-service ticket machines will continue to have the option to pay by cash or card.
- Our stations will continue to be staffed and the hours of operation where we have a member of staff on the station will remain the same as it is today.
- Our team members will transition to multi-skilled 'customer help' roles so they can provide you with better support and reassurance.
- Our security teams will be retained as they are today to keep you safe at stations.
- If approved, ticket offices will be repurposed to provide our team members, commercial or community space dependent on the station, subject to investment.
- Customer accessibility services will remain unchanged and we will continue to have staff available to assist customers at the same times as we do today.
- In the same way you can today, you can always simply “turn up and go” without booking assistance in advance, or if you have made an online booking that has not yet been confirmed. We will provide assistance to get you to your destination.