Hertsmere MP prioritising Oyster card extension to Radlett Station
- Credit: Archant
Campaigning to get Oyster card use extended to Radlett Station remains a priority for Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden after chairing a public meeting into local rail services.
Over 50 commuters turned up at the meeting in Hertsmere council offices which was attended by representatives of both Govia Thameslink and Network Rail.
And one of the key issues that emerged was the possible extension of Oyster to Radlett which one rail user pointed out was to have been introduced by 2012 but had never happened.
Radlett is the only train station south of the M25 where Oyster cannot be used and Mr Dowden stressed that campaigning for its introduction remained a priority.
He said: “I am not surprised that it was raised by a number of constituents at the public meeting. Members of the audience were disappointed that the planned extension has not yet taken place.
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“I am currently planning a round table discussion with representatives from TfL, Department for Transport and Govia to discuss the issue.”
Concerns were also raised about the lack of car parking capacity at Radlett station and the possible closure of its ticket office.
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Govia has no plans currently to increase Radlett’s parking provision and said that the only way to increase it would be to deck the car park which would not provide the company with a quick enough return on investment.
The train comnpany stressed that if the ticket office was closed, there would still be people selling tickets on the platform using portable machines.
But Mr Dowden commented: “I know that many passengers prefer to buy from the ticket office rather than from a ticket machine. I have concerns about what the closure or partial closure of ticket offices might mean for the vulnerable or less technically minded. There are certain services that only a staffed ticket office can provide.”
He did not think staff with portable machines would be the same as having a staffed ticket office and felt it would be a ‘significant cultural change’ which he had many reservations about.
The meeting also dealt with other more general issues including the reliability of the Thameslink service, the lack of announcements by train drivers and poor customer service.
Mr Dowden is hoping to hold regular meetings between the rail companies and passengers to discuss what progress is being made.