Tory MP urges public to lobby over rail ticket office closures

There are more ticket office closures planned for Croydon South than for any other constituency in Croydon and Sutton.

Warning sign: Purley and 10 other stations in Croydon South have been earmarked for closure

As many as 11 stations in the area are under threat of closure under the controversial proposals.

And now the MP for Croydon South, Conservative government minister Chris Philp, is urging constituents to take part in the public consultation before the deadline of September 1.

A total of 18 ticket offices across Sutton and Croydon have been earmarked for closure, some possibly before the end of this year under the proposals to remove ticketing staff from more than 1,000 stations around England.

The proposals have been roundly criticised for ignoring the needs of passengers, especially the disabled and the elderly, while the short-comings of often malfunctioning ticket machines have also been highlighted, particularly in respect of their failure to be able to sell all types of ticket.

The proposals have been put forward by the Rail Delivery Group, though most passenger groups, transport experts, rail unions and disability groups who oppose the recommendations suspect that it is a budget-reducing, job-cutting measure from the Department for Transport.

Railways expert Christian Wolmar said, “Ticket office closures will not save money as revenue will be lost and staff are needed. Ticket machines are not fit for purpose.”

Wolmar said, “Until the pandemic, train operators were responsible for paying for ticket offices and closed very few judging they were economically worthwhile. Now ministers with no commercial background are taking the opposite view.”

Passenger numbers have never recovered after the covid lockdown and are at their lowest since 2002, with revenue 30per cent below 2020 levels.

Consultation: Tory MP Chris Philp has urged his constituents to take part in the public process

The proposals will affect most stations in Croydon and Sutton.

Norwood Junction and West Croydon staions will keep their ticket offices, though, since they are operated by TfL Overground.

Sutton Station and East Croydon, one of the biggest transport hubs in south-east England, will retain some form of “information office” that will be able to sell tickets.

Otherwise, ticket offices face closure.

In Croydon North, that spells doom for the ticket offices at Norbury, Thornton Heath and Selhurst stations.

In Conservative MP Chris Philp’s Croydon South constituency, the list is much more extensive:

  • South Croydon
  • Purley Oaks
  • Purley
  • Kenley
  • Reedham
  • Coulsdon Town
  • Coulsdon South
  • Woodmansterne
  • Sanderstead
  • Riddlesdown
  • Waddon

South Croydon Station straddles two constituencies, including Croydon Central, and apart from East Croydon is the only station in MP Sarah Jones’s constituency.

Today, Croydon South’s Philp told Inside Croydon, “I have been raising constituents’ concerns and my own concerns about this issue with ministers through regular correspondence, and I have spoken directly at some length with the Minister of State for Rail, Huw Merriman, about this too.

“This is a consultation – which means that nothing has been decided and there is scope for material changes from what is currently being consulted upon.

“Anyone concerned about this issue should reply to the consultation by September 1.”

What can you do?

Read more: Deceit over ticket office closures is taking all of us for a ride
Read more: Asking the hard questions about ‘unacceptable’ rail closures

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at
  • As featured on Google News Showcase
  • Our comments section on every report provides all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Chris Philp MP, Coulsdon, Coulsdon West, Croydon South, East Croydon, Norwood Junction, Transport, West Croydon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Tory MP urges public to lobby over rail ticket office closures

  1. derek thrower says:

    Here we are again. The Conservative MP and Minister opposing a policy imposed by his own Government as if they are disconnected from their own imposed policies. It seems the charade is no longer working with the floating voters anymore from the polling.

  2. Jack Griffin says:

    You’d do well to find the Reedham office open at the best of times.

  3. Does Philp know something we don’t? Is a humiliating pre-election U-turn on the cards? Is he finally going to stick his neck out to defy the party whips on this matter? Or is he leading us up the garden path, knowing full well that the consultation is a sham.

    We’ll just have to wait and see

    • Dan Maertens says:

      Easy to check – look up his nose; if he’s given them a trim, he’s using his own initiative; if they’re still long enough to grab hold of, the party whips will give them a tug so he’s doing what he’s told.

  4. yusufaosman says:

    People should participate in the consultation despite the fact that I think it is reasonable to assume that minds have already been made up at the DFT. There is just the possibility that with a huge outcry changes will be forced. I’m holding out hopes that even if the highups at the DFT don’t change their minds, the courts will force them to , taking into account the Equality Act and the probable cases that will be taken to Judicial Review.
    How on earth can you properly consult in 3 weeks, when much of the consultation materials are not accessible to many people and when even when they are the wording is so confusing as to lead intelligent people to think that certain ticket offices aren’t being closed when they are. Okay, cards on the table I was one of the inteligent people and in my case I thought waddon and Norbury’s ticket offices weren’t going to close. They are.

  5. Sarah Bird says:

    I support the unions a 100% on ticket closures. It is an utter disgrace considering the profits made by the railway companies , many of whom are based outside the UK. I understand that the train companies profits are in excess of 300 million .Has any thought be given, of the effect this short sighted idea , will have upon the disabled (especially those in wheelchairs ), tourists , dementia ,autistic, blind passengers Many of the ticket machines are not even assessable .What happens if someone is taken ill or attacked or needs help? Like many disabled passengers I require expert knowledge of those stations that I can even access. Many on the Elizabeth line, built at huge cost are not.?? How is a machine going to assist? It is utter nonsense to say there will be staff on the platforms, – the TFL cuts confirm.

    No one needs to look any further than the 1960’s Beeching report.

    On a positive point, it is indeed ,encouraging, to see Chris Philip standing up for his constituents, though I agree with many of the remarks above. Let us all hope that he is heard in the House of Commons accordingly and seen on the picket lines

    • Chris Flynn says:

      I agree with your post, but the idea of Philp on the picket lines has me chuckling.

      • sarah Bird says:

        Always a first time on a picket line for Chris Philip! It would be a good experience for him . Not seen him on any of the ones I have attended! We all need to watch him carefully in parliament to hear his concerns.
        Did Japan not have a time when the passengers got on public transport without a ticket to support the unions.
        For the record I have a disability freedom pass .


    It is damn ridiculous, the price is shocking enough…now make life more differcult by looking for a place to buy a ticket….people should just get on the train WITHOUT A TICKET…teach the managers a life lesson. Life is hard enough for passengers!

Leave a Reply