Lewisham Council has called for proposals to close 51 London Overground ticket counters, including Honor Oak Park, Rotherhithe and Surrey Quays, to be reconsidered.

The proposals to cut the counters, which also include counters at Anerley and Penge West, were described as “damaging” for the disabled, elderly and vulnerable in Lewisham Council documents.

“We understand that Arriva Rail London and TfL are planning to close ticket offices in a number of stations,” the documents begin.

“The proposed closure of ticket offices at Anerley, Honor Oak Park, Penge West, Rotherhithe, and Surrey Quays is likely to particularly impact many residents of Lewisham; but some of our residents are likely to use stations across the whole of the Overground network for daily journeys, including all 51 where this cut to service is proposed.

“Lewisham Council believes these are damaging and detrimental cuts and that there is still a clear need for staffed ticket offices at stations.

"Industry research shows that a clear majority of passengers still prefer to buy from the ticket office rather than from a ticket machine.”

Councillors were also concerned with delays, congestion and whether safety could be compromised by fewer staff at stations.

“If these changes go ahead we believe that residents of Lewisham  would not be able to access all the tickets and services needed from a ticket machine; would find it harder to obtain advice on tickets and fares without a staffed office; would experience more delays and concourse congestion; that by leaving stations understaffed and sometimes unstaffed it will make it harder to provide a safe and secure environment — especially with CCTV left unmonitored,” according to the documents.

“We call upon the GLA (Greater London Authority) and TfL to reconsider these proposals and continue to provide the best possible and safest Overground service to the people of Lewisham and London.”

Jon Fox, TfL’s Director of Rail and Sponsored Services 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. These proposals will not compromise safety and all stations will remain staffed at all times."