Note: At the time of publication the deadline to respond was Wednesday 26 July. This has now been extended to Friday 1 September
A public consultation is underway which would see changes to the way tickets are sold and customer service is provided at stations. The proposals are part of a modernisation plan being put forth by the rail industry. On the East Suffolk Lines, the proposals would affect the ticket offices at Lowestoft and Ipswich, the only two locations on the line that are staffed.
Under the plans, station staff would undertake a flexible role, providing advice on fares, and assisting passengers with other queries and accessibility needs. Passengers would still be able to buy tickets from the ticket machine and online. Ticketing assistance would also be available directly from staff at Greater Anglia’s Customer Contact Centre, contactable via a button on the ticket machine 24 hours a day.
Across the Greater Anglia network, the proposed changes would see 54 stations where a ticket office is located switch to the new model.
At seven major Greater Anglia stations – London Liverpool Street, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich, Stansted Airport and Cambridge – Customer Information Centres would sell a full range of products, as well as providing help with more complex transactions. At the remaining 47 stations, some stations would have staff available at similar hours with others available for fewer hours than at present. Bury St. Edmunds and Cambridge North stations operate this way now.
No station would become unstaffed under the proposals. Station facilities, such as waiting rooms and toilets, would not be affected.
The proposals do not change Greater Anglia’s commitments to providing accessibility for passengers, including passengers with reduced mobility and people requiring in-person assistance. New, additional mobile assistance teams would be created to help provide assistance.
Proposed Changes at Lowestoft
|Days||Current Ticket Office Hours||Proposed station staffing hours|
|Monday to Friday||06:40 – 17:05||06:30 – 13:30|
|Saturday||06:40 – 17:05||06:30 – 13:30|
|Sunday||08:00 – 16:15||Regular visits by GA mobile team|
Proposed Changes at Ipswich
|Days||Current Ticket Office Hours||Proposed Customer |
Information Centre Hours
|Proposed Station |
|Monday to Friday||05:00 – 21:20||06:15 – 19:10||24 hours|
|Saturday||05:00 – 21:20||06:15 – 19:10||24 hours|
|Sunday||07:15 – 22:00||10:15 – 17:40||24 hours|
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said:
“The station proposals put forward today are aimed at providing a more modern and flexible service for our customers. They reflect the more convenient ways in which passengers are looking to buy their tickets and check travel information.
“Station colleagues would undertake a new, more flexible role – bringing staff closer to customers. Passenger assistance arrangements would continue as they do now, from first to last trains, but with additional mobile teams to give greater flexibility in providing assistance across the network.”
The consultation runs through Friday 1 September 2023. Comments should be sent to Transport Focus or, where appropriate, London TravelWatch, the statutory rail passenger watchdog organisations which will receive and review all consultation responses, before providing recommendations on next steps.
Details of the proposals are available on the Greater Anglia website at www.greateranglia.co.uk/consult
Physical copies can be ordered by contacting Freepost – Greater Anglia Customer Relations, or by calling 0345 600 7245 (Option 8).