Dear Transport For London (presumably that requires a #tfl or some such shite),
I hear that you don't think ticket offices are needed any more. Surely if that were the case people wouldn't use them, and the guys behind them wouldn't be swamped with people waiting in line, sometimes when the machine is available? I would have thought that it would be obvious, and beyond dispute, but we'll leave that for a moment.
You said on the Today programme this morning that you can use the ticket machine for whatever you need, so I shall tell you my most common ticket purchase over the past few months, and we'll see how you fare. Geddit. Fare? I'm wasted here, I really am.
Right, imagine I'm in Staines. I know, it's hard to do. And I know it's technically Staines-upon-Fecking-Thames, but let's leave that right out, shall we? Imagine I'm in Staines, and I'm going to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society tonight. Could happen. Does happen. Will happen again once my good friend Gerry gets his arse in gear. So, I'm going into London, and I'm going to head out again after a wee dram (#OrTwo). So, what would I ask for? Well, I would ask for a travelcard, but one which allows me to go back out to Burnham (not on-Crouch, nor on-Sea, but the shitty one next to Slough Trading Estate where I live). From Burnham, you see, a travelcard takes you back out again, and I don't want to get to Paddington, a weeny bit the worse for wear, and try to get a ticket quickly when a train will probably be right there, and I'll be running for it, because that's how life goes, so I want a ticket as if I'd originally bought it at Burnham. And can you buy that from a ticket machine in Staines without using the ticket office?
Can you buggery.
In the light of this (my request being so utterly common as to be almost ubiquitous), please leave ticket offices where they are, and not just because it's quite nice to get the tiny bit of human interaction involved in a "Hello, can I have a...".