Community demands rail bosses U-turn on ‘disastrous’ ticket office …

A number of Labour councillors, charities and unions from the Broxbourne community have signed a letter to the Rail Minister calling for a U-Turn on the "disastrous policy" to close rail ticket offices across stations in the Borough of Broxbourne. Councillor for Waltham Cross (Labour) Sean Waters sent a community letter to Member of Parliament for Bexhill and Battle and the Minister of State at the Department for Transport, Huw Merriman, on Thursday (August 31).

The letter asked for the decision to be reversed on plans to potentially close every rail ticket office in the Borough of Broxbourne. The letter was signed by charities, Borough of Broxbourne councillors, and trade unions in an effort to keep the ticket offices that act as a "lifeline" for elderly people in Waltham Cross, Cheshunt, Broxbourne and Rye House.

The letter was shared with the Leader of the Borough of Broxbourne[1] Council, Lewis Cocking, with the aim for the letter to gain cross-party support. Speaking on the letter, Cllr Waters said: "This letter shows the strength of feeling in our community against the closure of every rail ticket office in Broxbourne Borough.

"Local people should not have to put up with these unnecessary, swinging cuts to our public services. I hope the Government takes note of the public outrage at their plans to shut ticket offices and U-Turn on this awful policy."

The letter to the Rail Minister

Below is the letter sent on behalf of the "Broxbourne community", which includes Labour councillors, charities and unions. It says:

Dear Minister,

The co-signed write to express our strong opposition to plans to close every rail ticket office within the Borough of Broxbourne.

The ticket offices at Waltham Cross, Cheshunt, Broxbourne and Rye House are a lifeline for local elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents.

Waltham Cross station alone is set to lose out on over 41 hours of staff time a week. This is simply unacceptable.

Our community, regardless of political orientation, is united in its opposition to this disastrous policy that will leave countless local people excluded from our railways.

Local people have not been duped by claims this decision is to do with modernising our railways. This is about increasing shareholder profits at the cost of keeping our railways accessible to the public.

We, the co-signed, urge you to U-Turn on your support for the decision to close our rail ticket offices and work with both the Rail Delivery Group and transport unions to put passengers first, before profit.


Councillor Sean Waters (Labour Councillor for Waltham Cross)

Clement Musonda (Herts Vision Loss Chief Executive Officer)

Bernie Reddington (RNIB Regional Campaigns Officer for East of England)

Councillor Carol Bowman (Labour Group Leader and Councillor for Waltham Cross)

Cllr Selina Norgrove (Labour Councillor for Waltham Cross)

Daniel Kirk (RMT Industrial Representative for Cheshunt Station)

John Thorpe (ASLEF Secretary District Council for East Anglia)

Paul Beadle (TSSA Executive Committee)

Sam Addo (RMT Waltham Cross & District Branch Secretary)

Beverleigh Thomas (RMT Waltham Cross & District Assistant Branch Secretary)

Nigel Scully (USDAW Regional Secretary Eastern Region)

Phil Waite (USDAW Deputy Regional Secretary Eastern Region)

After sending the letter yesterday, Cllr Waters took to Facebook and Twitter to emphasise his goal. He wrote: "Yesterday I sent a letter to the Rail Minister signed by charities, councillors and trade unionists. We are calling on the Government to U-Turn on their support for rail ticket office closures. Local people have had enough of cuts to their public services."

Broxbourne Borough Council previously opposed the plans with Cllr Cocking writing to Transport Focus outlining the Council's objection. A spokesperson for the council previously said: "In Broxbourne, the stations with ticket offices facing closure are Broxbourne, Cheshunt, Rye House and Waltham Cross. Many of these stations are busy commuter hubs, serving the needs of thousands of local residents every day.

"Whilst the Council acknowledges that there are fewer passengers choosing to use a ticket office, the personal contact at the point of purchase remains important for many. Closure will cause significant issues for vulnerable residents, including those with a disability and the elderly."

This comes as the public consultations on rail ticket office closures across the country ended on Friday (September 1). More than half a million residents have made their feelings known on the issue, amid concerns over cost-cutting proposals to close most of England’s 1,000 station offices.

The issue has turned into a focal point in wider pay dispute with railway unions. They believe it will impact services more and put off railway passengers, however train operators have stated that customers will be assisted better by staff in new roles on platforms and concourses.

Jacqueline Starr, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group representing train operators, said: "While local plans vary, the aim of the proposals is to bring staff out from behind ticket office windows to offer more help for customers buying tickets and navigating stations. At the same time ticket vending machines are being upgraded to offer a wider range of fares, and we have committed that no customer will have to go out of their way to buy a ticket."


  1. ^ Broxbourne (
  2. ^ Herts leisure centre announce return of 'Doggy Splash' sessions in outdoor pool (