Mum’s safety concerns after teens ‘stranded’ at Lancing station

Carmel Olliver and Amy Clark at the ticket machine in Lancing
Carmel Olliver and Amy Clark at the ticket machine in Lancing

Problems with purchasing train tickets with cash have left two teenagers repeatedly ‘stranded’ at Lancing station, according to a mother.

Carmel Olliver, of Freshbrook Road, Lancing, said she was ‘concerned’ for the safety of her children, who she said had been refused access onto the platform several times despite trying to buy a ticket.

The 37-year-old said the issue was that the ticket machine at the station would only accept card payments.

With the ticket office frequently closed, she said her son Connor Olliver, 14, and 15-year-old Amy Clark were unable to buy a ticket with cash – and were then turned away by staff at the gate.

Mrs Olliver added: “They haven’t got the facility to buy a ticket and they are being penalised.”

More than once the mother, who is training to become a midwife, has had to come and take them to school in Worthing herself.

“Luckily, they are a bit older and know what to do,” she said.

But she said staff had a duty to safeguard young people.

“I understand there are rules and regulations, but they need to provide places to purchase a ticket with cash,” she said.

“They need to make sure that children are safe.”

A spokesperson for Southern Rail said there was a ticket machine on the east side of the station which accepted cash as well as card.

It had accepted cash for several weeks though the spokesperson said ‘there had been a problem before that’.

They added: “We are sorry for any inconvenience to the family.

“We assume this incident happened some time ago as no problems with the cash ticket machine have been reported for the past six weeks.

“However, there appears to have been a misunderstanding – staff at the gate would only have asked a passenger to go to the ticket office if it was open.

“If tickets are not available at the station and a passenger has the means to pay, they would be allowed through the gate to pay on the train or at their destination.”