These changes reflect the way customers now pay for their travel as many people choose to use contactless payments and mobile devices instead of paper tickets. Currently fewer than two per cent of London Overground journeys involve a ticket sale from a London Overground ticket office, with sales through ticket offices having reduced by a million compared with 2016.
With the significant reduction in office-based ticket sales, it had been proposed that ticket offices at many stations on the London Overground network would have permanently closed. The Mayor and TfL listened to concerns raised by the trade unions, and worked with Arriva Rail London, the operator of London Overground, who conducted a station-by-station review of the network, including consulting its staff for their views. Following this, a decision was taken to keep ticket offices staffed during those times of day when customers need them most.
All London Overground stations that currently have a staffed ticket office will continue to do so. The only exception to this is Brondesbury where the station will be redeveloped without a ticket office to allow a lift to be built as part of the Department for Transport Access for All scheme, to make it step free from street to platform.
For many of the busiest stations across the network, such as New Cross Gate, Walthamstow Central, Willesden Junction and Crystal Palace, there will be no changes to the operating hours of ticket offices. Given the higher number of ticket office transactions, these stations will continue to have a staffed ticket office for the majority of the day.
There are a number of other busier ticket offices on the network, such as Camden Road and Hackney Central, which will have their hours tailored to meet customer demand. This means not only providing a ticket office service to customers in the morning peak, but also, as required, in the afternoon and into the evening during the week, and at weekends.
For stations with less busy ticket offices, such as Honor Oak Park and Carpenders Park, as well as having a staffed ticket office every weekday in the morning peak, they will also be available for at least one day over the weekend.
The quietest ticket offices, such as Bruce Grove and Penge West, will retain a staffed ticket office every weekday in the morning from 7:30am until 10am, so that they are staffed when customers need them most, ensuring a consistent set of hours across the network.
Full details of ticket office hours will be publicised locally at the station and on the Transport for London (TfL) website. Customers who have opted to receive customer information will also be emailed ahead of these changes.
Safety and security remain the top priority for TfL. All stations will continue to be staffed from 15 minutes before the first train of the day until 15 minutes after the last - a continuing commitment that makes London Overground stations stand out on the national rail network. Staff will continue to be available at all London Overground stations to provide customers with any help and assistance needed, including journey planning and ticketing.
Rory O’Neill, TfL’s General Manager for London Overground, said: “The way customers want to pay for their train fares is changing with fewer visiting a ticket office at the start of their journey. These planned changes will help ensure the ticket offices are available when customers need them. We are working to modernise London Overground to meet changing customer needs and are investing in new technology including the latest ticket vending machines to give our customers a greater range of options when using our services.”
Ninety-nine per cent of all sales at London Overground ticket offices could be made through a ticket vending machine. Of those customers who currently choose to buy a ticket at a London Overground station, 80 per cent do so through a ticket vending machine.
Further changes are planned to improve the service with new world-leading video ticket machine technology currently being trialled at a number of stations. The new technology connects customers by video link to a member of staff who can help guide them through ticket purchasing and provide other assistance if needed. If the trials prove popular with customers, this technology could be expanded to be a feature of ticket machines at London Overground stations across the capital.
The hours at some London Overground ticket offices will start to change over the next few weeks to better match the times customers use them.