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What is Chiltern Railways playing at this time..?

December 14th, 2017

Village resident Meena Miles took this picture last week of the shelter at King’s Sutton station that used to accommodate a ticket machine. She asked Chiltern Railways directly why it wasn’t there but the company has so far declined to respond.

Since the station’s Permit to Travel machine has recently been out of order as well, anyone just showing up without a ticket has technically been breaking the law if they boarded a train. However, a helpful member of staff at Oxford Station explained to another village resident yesterday that they've been told the ticket machine at King’s Sutton is “no longer needed”!

Chiltern has been cutting services to King’s Sutton for some time and, despite making Advance tickets available after protest from village residents a couple of years ago, passengers are often forced to drive to Banbury or Bicester if they want to take advantage of low-cost travel options. We wonder what all this means for the long term future of our station?

Part 2

Chiltern Railways has confirmed this evening that a new ticket machine will be installed at King’s Sutton station “in the very near future”. And to fair to the company’s social media staff, they do in fact appear to have responded to Meena Miles’s original tweeted enquiry about the missing machine seven days ago. (Although we would normally expect to see that response in our Twitter feed and we couldn’t see any such thing.)

The only other comments we would make on this affair are these:

  1. Staff at Oxford should have been better informed about Chiltern’s intentions, even if they are employed by a different company, GWR.
  2. Chiltern could perhaps have managed things in such a way as to have a replacement ticket machine ready to install before removing the old one
  3. Chiltern should consider keeping passengers updated when it does something as drastic as removing the only ticket machine at one of its stations, perhaps by posting up an explanatory notice.
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