The Transport Salaried Staff Association held a protest against proposed cuts to ticket office opening hours at stations across Kingston and Richmond, at Whitton Station last Friday.

The plans come 18 months after the most recent reductions in opening hours, which train operating company South West Trains say are necessary because a growing number of passengers now buy tickets online or from machines.

Twickenham MP Vincent Cable joined the protest at Whitton. He said: "It is time that South West Trains realised that no means no. Over a year ago there were strong protests over similar proposals and the transport minister intervened.

"Many passengers need face to face contact and assistance. If the machines aren't operating, inspectors make no allowance and instead impose fines on passengers who haven't been able to get tickets.

"All the smaller stations, staff also provide security and reassurance and deter antisocial behaviour."