As many as 51 train ticket offices could close due to insufficient ticket sales.

London Overground ticket offices across the north of the city and others including Watford High Street and Carpenders Park are under review because they fall below the Department for Transport’s “busy” threshold.

Offices must surpass 12 ticket sales per hour to remain viable.

Transport for London confirmed a statutory consultation between Arriva Rail London (the London Overground operator), London TravelWatch and rail industry bodies began yesterday.

The local government body also said no final decision on closures would be made until after the public consultation has finished, on October 11.

A review of ticket office use began 12 months ago to assess the way people pay for train fares.

Transport for London said significant growth in Oyster and contactless payment methods, increased use of self-service machines and the TfL app had contributed to a low number of tickets sold at the offices.

Map of London Overground ticket offices affected


Labour district councillor for South Oxhey, Stephen Cox, said: “This is rather nauseatingly being dressed up as something to be welcomed and as modernisation, but I fear is rather more a cost-cutting, penny pinching exercise and a retrograde step.

“It is claimed that stations will be staffed from 15 minutes before the first, until 15 after the last train - but what does that mean, exactly?

“It may amount to little more than a bloke somewhat aimlessly patrolling the platform in an orange bib.”

Liberal Democrat district councillor for Oxhey Hall and Hayling, Keith Martin, said: “The loss of the ticket offices will make those using the stations feel less safe, especially older people and those with disabilities.

“It will deprive travellers of an obvious help point and leave them without anywhere to make ticket enquiries.”

Mr Martin and his party have set up a petition to fight the closure. You can find details here

Chair of Disability Watford, Leigh Hutchings, said: "We are against any rail station being unstaffed and especially ticket offices. The high street station is in need of updating to make it more inviting and user friendly as it is quite near to the shopping areas and not making it a bigger problem to use than it is already for people with a disability. 

"This station is not an accessible one for those who can’t use stairs. At this station, if a person with mobility issues or in a wheelchair got off a train without knowing that by mistake there would be no station staff to help to assist them to get back on another train or give assistance to exit the station. 

"There is also the safety problem for all those in our community who are vulnerable or not using these stations unstaffed. Even those visiting our town that may not be used to these stations or the routes running from them may need help. These stations could easily become no go areas for some people." 

Transport for London’s director of rail and sponsored services, Jon Fox, said: “The way customers pay for travel has changed rapidly as they embrace new technology, creating an opportunity to improve the way stations are managed and how staff serve customers.

“Arriva Rail London have been engaging with their staff and trade unions and are now consulting with rail industry bodies and London TravelWatch about ticket offices on stations where there are fewer than 12 ticket sales per hour.

“We encourage customers to share their views through London TravelWatch. These proposals will not compromise safety and all stations will remain staffed at all times.”

Will Rogers, managing director of Arriva Rail London, said: "Arriva Rail London has been reviewing customer service across the London Overground network as part of a plan to modernise the customer experience. One part of the programme has been to look at how tickets are sold at stations in response to the growing use of new technology, including contactless cards and mobile devices.

"We have been working closely with trade unions on this programme, including undertaking a joint station-by-station review. Ticket issuing data indicates that only 5 per cent of transactions are through ticket offices. These results have informed proposals aimed at meeting the needs of our customers both today and in the future.

"Already ARL successfully operates 16 stations without ticket offices. Today we started a consultation process on proposals to reduce the number of ticket offices on the rest of the London Overground. All views will be carefully considered, and all proposed changes will be safety validated before any final decision is made.

“All stations will remain staffed while trains are running, with trained staff available to help passengers who require assistance.”

For more information, visit

A list of ticket offices proposed for closure can be found below