GWT Public Consultation Launched

Published: 07 July 2023

The independent passenger watchdogs London TravelWatch and Transport Focus are today (Wednesday 5 July) starting public consultations on behalf of GTR and other rail operators across the country, up until 26 July.

They are inviting feedback on our proposals to better support passengers by moving ticket office colleagues from behind traditional ticket offices windows, which would close, onto station concourses. The proposed changes would mean colleagues are where customers need them most, making them more visible and accessible to customers.

The aspiration is that colleagues would move to roles that cover a broader range of customer needs in the future – from travel and fares advice to accessibility assistance.

The proposed changes reflect that the way customers buy tickets has changed significantly in recent years, with a reduction in ticket office use. In fact, 9 out of 10 tickets are now purchased outside of traditional ticket offices, be it online or through digital via smart devices or contactless, with ticket machines also able to sell the vast majority of ticket types.

Of course, our colleagues play a valuable role in helping customers, which these proposals aim to enhance. In-person assistance would still be available to help customers use machines and advise on the best value-for-money fares.

I’d like to highlight that no stations that have staff today would become unstaffed, and station opening hours would remain the same. However, the hours when ticketing assistance would be available might change. You can view a comparison of current and proposed hours when ticketing assistance would be available on GTR’s websites. You will see that many would remain similar or would offer longer hours:

Great Northern - Public consultation
Thameslink - Public consultation
Southern - Public consultation
Gatwick Express - Public consultation

The safety of our customers and security of our stations remains an absolute priority for us. Under the proposed model, staff would be available in the main station, providing a more visible presence to help deter anti-social behaviour, with continued robust support from our team of rail enforcement officers and the British Transport Police.

Furthermore, if the proposals go ahead, all the accessibility assistance we provide today would remain and continue to be in line with our Accessible Travel Policy (ATP).

The proposals include the option for some larger stations to provide additional retailing assistance. The GTR stations suggested for this revised format are: Bedford, Brighton, Chichester, Eastbourne, East Croydon, Finsbury Park, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Huntingdon, King’s Lynn, London Blackfriars, London Victoria, Luton Airport Parkway, St Albans City, Stevenage, Sutton, Welwyn Garden City and Worthing.

This could also include stations managed by other operators, on our network: Ashford International (SE), Bromley South (SE), Cambridge (GA), Clapham Junction (SWR), Dartford (SE), Fareham (SWR), Hastings (SE), Havant (SWR), London Bridge (SE), Peterborough (LNER), Portsmouth & Southsea (SWR), Rochester (SE), Southampton Central (SWR), St Pancras International (EMR), Tonbridge (SE) and Wimbledon (SWR).

Alongside the public consultations, run by the independent watchdogs, train operators will consult with union representatives of station colleagues. Our people are incredibly important to us, and we’ll be keeping them informed and we’ll support them throughout this period.

We understand that stations are a key part of the local community, so we are encouraging everyone with an interest - be it stakeholders, passenger groups, and customers - to review the proposals for their area and provide feedback to the consultation. No final decision has been made, we really want to hear from as many people as possible and encourage all to take part in the public consultation that starts today.

This is an important consultation to us, and as such we have taken a number of steps to ensure the consultation is promoted to local communities. As of today, you will see poster notifications alongside audio announcements at all our stations. A press release is being issued to all our local media contacts in order to raise awareness locally. Information is also being made available more directly to our own customers through our Customer Relations team, via our e-CRM customer database and of course our websites hold all the details pertaining to the proposed changes including a customer question and answers section:

Great Northern - Public consultation
Thameslink - Public consultation
Southern - Public consultation
Gatwick Express - Public consultation

Finally, I include below the relevant information to take part in the consultation:

Consultation information

For a comparison of current and proposed hours when ticketing would be available, please view the station-by-station consultation document.

The consultation runs from 5 July 2023 until 26 July 2023. Responses must be submitted via the main consultation; operators cannot pass on feedback on behalf of others.

If you have any other questions about the consultations or the proposed changes, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at