beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

Centro station staffing muddle

with one comment

Councillors from the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority have written to local train operator London Midland about proposed cuts in staffing at some stations. The changes would leave more stations without a staff presence, at more times. On 2 March 2011, the Birmingham Mail reported

Bosses at London Midland plan to shut five ticket offices in the city and three more elsewhere in the West Midlands.

In Birmingham, booths at Witton, Small Heath, Jewellery Quarter, Adderley Park and Duddeston stations are set to be axed for good.

Others threatened in the region include Wythall, Lye and the Bescot Stadium.

Centro stated that it

“is urging rail passengers to oppose London Midland proposals to slash the numbers of staff at stations across the region.”

and announced that its chairman, Councillor Angus Adams, vice chairman Councillor Jon Hunt, and Opposition Group Leader Councillor John McNicholas had a written a joint letter to transport minister Theresa Villiers, saying

“the proposals would be totally unacceptable to passengers.

[…]

Councillor Adams said: ‘Their rationale for deciding changes fails to take into account the wider benefits of staff presence at stations, including the critically important role in reassuring passengers.

“We have made it clear to London Midland that were we a co-signatory to the franchise agreement the Integrated Transport Authority would not approve these changes.'”

The press release didn’t link to London Midland’s announcement on changes and consultation – which stated

“We understand that staffed stations can make people feel safer, but our ticket office staff are not best placed to combat crime. Many of our stations have CCTV and we will have help points in place at all stations, directly linked to someone who can provide reassurance or contact the emergency services. We will continue to work closely with the British Trasport Police (BTP) and monitor any changes in crime or anti-social behaviour following any changes.”(sic)

The Midland Metro tramway has no staff at any stop, but several stops have known security issues, for example, Lodge Road, Soho (Benson Road), and Winson Green (Outer Circle). Why there is a disparity in Centro’s attitude towards tram stop staffing, and railway station staffing, is unclear. Equally unclear is how the presence of a staff member would help, when many stations have longstanding design, equipment, and layout issues which prevent him or her even being able to surveil from the ticket office.

Spring Road railway station ticket officeSpring Road station, showing ‘portacabin’ ticket office which affords the stationmaster no view of the station platforms (there is no closed circuit television coverage)

Written by beleben

March 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] News reported yesterday’s Action for Rail protests against London Midland’s proposed closure of some rail ticket offices, which mostly concern stations in the West Midlands area. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: