As a long-term railway enthusiast, I was interested to read the front page headline in the Romsey Advertiser, which stated that the ticket office was to close at Romsey railway station.

Since before the Second World War when I was a boy, I have followed the changes that have taken place on British railways, most of which have left me with sad regrets over the outcome. 

At first, I thought this latest move was yet another backward step that would cause inconvenience to the travelling public at large and downgrade the railway even more, but reading the economics behind the decision opened my mind, giving me a division of views.

For most of my working life before retirement, I managed several industrial companies that had to make major changes to working procedures during the same period of time.

Many of those decisions, partly made by me, resulted in changes to working procedures and often meant staff had to be redeployed to other jobs.

We live in a technologically changing world and the primary consideration must always be to keep up with these changes so that the company continues to provide employment for as many other people as can be economically sustained.

If the details stated by The Railway Delivery Group, that the number of train tickets being purchased through train station offices at the moment has plummeted to 12 per cent, from 85 per cent in 1995, then the railway should certainly take action to reduce the associated costs accordingly.

In other words, they must move with the times, or continue to rack up unnecessary expenses.

In doing so, like any good risk assessment programme, the resultant consequences, such as inconvenience to the disabled and vulnerable, and to elderly passengers who may not be able to handle ticket purchasing through online services, should be addressed with compassion.

I would therefore urge the railway companies to allow those people to purchase their tickets on the train, without fear of prosecution from the staff who they say, “will be redeployed to help passengers”. 

Those groups who object under the banner of ‘fearing job losses’ would do well to think outside the box and understand what could backfire on them if the railway company were to go out of business through unnecessary spending.

David Peckham

Botley Road