Monday, 3 February 2014
Passengers face massive disruption if Boris’s cuts to ticket offices happen
The Mayor of London’s proposal to close all London Underground ticket offices and cut
up to 1,000 tube staff is apparently supported by 82 per cent of Londoners, according
to a poll commissioned by TfL.
However the question they ask in their poll doesn’t mention either the ticket office
closures, or cutting a thousand staff, but TfL are now claiming public endorsement for
the cuts. Polls commissioned by the unions also show overwhelming opposition from
passengers to these cuts.
does not sound much of a problem, except when you translate that into over a 100,000
people a day who are queuing up to sort out the issues which the machines can’t help
more accessible, but these plans combine the closures with a huge reduction in staffing.
Fewer staff will be around and when they are wandering about, we may, or may not, be
lucky enough to bump into them. Ticket offices in most stations provide a reassuring
focus point where you know you can find someone.
assistance to passengers, way beyond the function of merely selling tickets. Get rid of
a 1000 staff and you lose that reassuring presence which helps passengers feel safer,
especially if travelling after dark.
survey of disabled travellers “enhancing personal security and safety” was ranked
consistently as the most important benefit that staff provide to disabled passengers.
CCTV cameras can never replace staff in making passengers feel safe waiting on a
dark platform at night.
network and deleting staff posts as the number of passengers flowing through stations
increases is irresponsible and could lead to injury or loss of life on the expanding tube
inflation every year between 2008 and 2013. During this time, the real average increase
in TfL fares was 11 per cent, hitting Londoners’ pockets over and over again.
including his New Bus and his cable car. While the Mayor wants to shed staff from tube
stations to save money, the additional cost for the extra staff on the back of the 600 Boris
Buses is an estimated £30m a year.
numbers these cuts to staffing are unnecessary, unsafe and unworkable.
stations closed their doors for the last time, 14 fire engines were withdrawn and 552
firefighter jobs were axed – all victims of this Mayor’s decision to cut council tax for the
average family by 7p per week to make a political point, rather than safeguard our
security services to be outsourced too.
making the Olympics a success and for keeping London moving. They now deserve
our full support in their fight for a safe, properly staff tube.
lose pay. But passengers face disruption and a worse service for years to come if
these cuts take place.
office in 2008 with a firm pledge to keep ticket offices open. He repeated his promise
again in 2010. Now we see the Mayor quietly ditching his commitments and hoping
nobody will notice.