December 12 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Rail travellers using Lowestoft station have been given an apology after staff shortages forced it to close its travel office to the public.
People trying to gain access to the station building and waiting room have found it locked in the afternoon over recent weeks – leaving them unable to seek help and advice while buying tickets.
Greater Anglia has issued an apology, saying it was recruiting two new staff to resolve the problem.
But the passengers’ group the East Suffolk Travellers’ Association (ESTA) is unhappy about the situation and claims the company has been breaching its rail franchise.
ESTA chairman Trevor Garrod said: “When Greater Anglia was given the franchise, it was required to have a certain level of staff at the station. It should perhaps have taken those terms of the franchise more seriously than it has been doing.
“We are pleased the company is addressing the problems with these two new staff members. It is just a pity it did not do it earlier.”
Greater Anglia was awarded a 29-month franchise for all rail services from Norwich in February last year.
A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers when the station ticket office has been closed at short notice.
“We are taking actions to address this to help ensure the ticket office is open in line with the scheduled opening hours, and we are in the process of recruiting two additional area relief employees who will assist in manning ticket offices, including at Lowestoft, to provide necessary cover for issues such as staff leave requirements.”
Customers can purchase tickets from the automatic ticket machine at the station or from on-train conductors.