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Ticket Offices

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

2. What recent representations he has received on railway station ticket office opening times in Hornsey and Wood Green constituency. (313711)

No representations have been received on this matter since the hon. Lady last wrote to the Secretary of State about it in October 2009.

I am sure that the Minister is aware of the Secretary of State’s successful intervention to halt the plans of South West Trains to close ticket offices. What consideration has his Department given to using those powers on First Capital Connect in my constituency? What criteria does he use for such an intervention, and will he make a commitment to review the recent closures, which have damaged safety at stations in my constituency, with a view to using those powers in Hornsey and Wood Green?

The Secretary of State has no powers to object to major changes under the ticketing and settlement agreement where passenger representative groups have not sustained objections. In this case, FCC agreed to monitor sales of tickets at weekends over an eight-week period last autumn. The Department has not yet received details of that assessment, and will continue to pursue that train operating company for that data, which are months overdue. I am sure that in raising the question, the hon. Lady has reminded FirstGroup of its commitment.