COMMUTERS left furious about plans to close ticket offices at train stations fear people may “struggle” to use the machines.

Govia Thameslink hopes to abolish the ticket offices at Alexandra Palace Rail Station and Hornsey Rail Station to save money.

Reporter Rachel Russell headed down to the stations to find out what people think…

Nina Dada, of Albert Road, Wood Green, does not think plans will improve train travel.

She said: “I think it would be a shame to miss out on having actual human beings behind their desks to help you if you get stuck.

“Machines are impersonal and do not always work, so it will not be good.”

Rob Evans, 39, lives near Brookman’s Park and travels on the train every day for work.

He said: “I don’t mind having no office as there are other ways of getting tickets.

“However, I suppose it is nice to have someone around to help, particularly in the evenings when it is dark- just for extra safety.

“I’m sure they are doing this to cut costs but hopefully that will not not mean ticket prices will be increased.

“The only problem may be for people who are not savvy with machines or technology.

“Some may struggle to use the machines, while not knowing there are alternative ways to tickets, such as online. Not everyone has a computer.”

Patrick Murray, 66, said: “I think the plans will work as long as they do not get rid of the staff, as I do think the stations need to people to help out with any problems- especially if the machines stop working or have faults.

“Having no staff may be good for smaller stations where there is not really a demand but the ones in Tottenham are always busy.

“There are a lot of people who need jobs in this borough and these new plans could help fill that gap in employment.”

Marian McGowam, 64, from Wood Green, is a regular user of the underground and says she does not mind buying ticket on a screen.

She said: “On the tubes you have to use machines anyway.

“It seems more efficient to purchase tickets through machines with staff available to help.

“The machines also have options for changing to different languages so it will be very helpful for those who do not speak English as their first language, as staff in ticket offices may not be able to understand their queries.”

Govia Thameslink has responded by saying the plans will “modernise” train travel on these lines.

Their spokesperson said: “Where sales from ticket offices are low, we want to bring staff out from behind the windows and on to the concourse to work where they’re needed most, as Station Hosts, providing assistance and helping sell tickets from ticket machines and their own handheld devices.

“All the affected stations will be staffed for longer as a result –they would be staffed from the very first train of the day to the very last, seven days a week.

“This will drive other customer benefits – we’ll also be able to increase the opening hours of facilities passengers have told us are important, such as waiting rooms, toilets and lifts.”

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