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Crawley MP challenges Rail Minister to act on faulty ticket machines



Crawley’s MP Henry Smith has spoken in parliament to address the issue of faulty ticket machines at Crawley stations that have been causing chaos for travellers.

Henry said;

“It’s appalling that Southern’s new ticket machines at stations like Three Bridges are all too often not working; causing queues, missed trains and frustration to passengers. 

“Indeed I’ve been stuck waiting myself on the daily commute from Crawley to London all too often. 

“Whilst GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) have confirmed to me that engineers have carried out modifications on each machine at Three Bridges Station and additional training for staff has taken place, nevertheless this is an unacceptably poor level of service for the travelling public.

“So I welcome the Rail Minister’s assurances that he will be stepping up the pressure to ensure that these machines are fixed to ensure passengers can buy tickets as swiftly and easily as possible.”

Henry Smith, Member of Parliament for Crawley, asked the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Paul Maynard MP;

“What steps his Department is taking to accelerate the availability of smart ticketing on the rail network.”

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Paul Maynard MP, responded;

“We are investing some £80 million through our smart ticketing on national rail programme, so that all passengers have a paperless option for their journey by the end of 2018. We are also working to facilitate a rail industry pilot of smartcards on mobile phones, as well as rolling out pay-as-you-go ticketing across the hon. Gentleman’s franchise.”

Henry Smith MP followed up;

“I welcome Southern railway’s plans to introduce smart ticketing across its network. I have also put in a request for the Oyster system to extend south of Gatwick airport to Three Bridges and Crawley stations.

“However, will my hon. Friend please speak urgently with GTR, the parent company of Southern, as their new ticket machines at many stations, including Three Bridges, have been malfunctioning, causing passengers significant disruption and queues? That situation needs to be resolved.”

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport responded;

“I am grateful for that comment. Ticket vending machines, which are meant to be among the most straightforward of equipment on our railways, seem to cause more problems than any other type of equipment. 

“I understand that Govia Thameslink Railway is due to visit every ticket machine over the coming fortnight to make sure that the software is updated and that the machine functions properly, although I share my hon. Friend’s concern and will be meeting the supply chain in due course to emphasise the importance of getting this right.”

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Council have plans in place for ‘Beast from the East’

Salting operations are to continue throughout the period; snow ploughs will be fitted when required to ensure main roads are kept open.



Yellow warnings for snow in Crawley have been issued by the Met Office until Wednesday. Photo: MetOffice

Snowfall will be effecting most of the country over the forthcoming week and the Met Office have issued yellow weather warnings for snow as well as amber warnings for some areas.

Following these warnings, West Sussex County Council have said they have plans in place to keep main roads open.

A West Sussex Highways spokesman said:

“Precautionary salting operations will continue throughout the period and snow ploughs will be fitted when required to ensure main roads are kept open.

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“We are therefore advising Town and Parish Councils to be prepared to enact their Winter Management Plans IF and when we issue an instruction to do so.”

A further update will be issued later today.

The County Council’s winter campaign website page has several sections giving advice on ‘staying warm’ please click here.

If you know or look after someone who may be susceptible to the effects of this cold weather period, please help ensure they stay warm and well and check in advance that they are prepared for this cold spell.

WSCC have offered some general advice including:

• Stay tuned in to weather forecasts.
• Check and maintain daytime room temperatures of 21°C.
• Check bedroom night-time temperatures and maintain it at 18°C or warmer.
• Keep warm and active and, if you have to go out, dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes.
• If you are concerned about your own health or welfare, or that of others, please alert the emergency services – details: emergency services.

Keep up to date with all the latest news.

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