Assembly urges Mayor to rethink Tube ticket office staff cuts

NEWS RELEASE from the Greater London Assembly

The London Assembly today called on the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) to rethink plans to cull up to 800 jobs on the Underground because of the adverse affects for passengers.

The Assembly believes the proposed cuts will damage customer service and leave passengers feeling less safe at stations where only one member of staff is present, particularly early in the morning and late at night.

Ticket office hours will be reduced, forcing people into long queues for ticket machines. This will especially disadvantage passengers with disabilities who find it difficult to use the machines and who rely on Underground staff for assistance when travelling by Tube.

Val Shawcross AM, who proposed the motion, said: “Three years ago the Mayor was campaigning to save ticket offices, now he seems intent on cutting opening hours. This amounts to a betrayal of the most vulnerable passengers - people with disabilities, people travelling late at night and people who rely on staff for assistance.

“Ticket machines have revolutionised the way people buy their tickets, but can never totally replace a real person offering help and assistance. Safety and quality of service must come first.”

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who seconded the motion, said: “London depends on a high quality public transport system. A big part of this is customer service, but under these proposals 90 per cent of Tube stations will suffer cuts to ticket office opening hours, with the majority of these in outer London.

“These cuts will have a huge impact on passengers. Without ticket office staff, who will be there to help passengers with disabilities, to advise visitors to London who are unsure about their ticket options or to assist people with faulty Oyster cards?"

The full text of the motion reads as follows: “The London Assembly is opposed to Transport for London’s proposals to shed up to 800 ticket office and gateline jobs on London Underground. The number of stations which will be staffed by only one person working alone for some time will increase. Ticket machines alone are no replacement for the presence of trained Underground staff and the over reliance on ticket machines will disproportionately impact on those passengers who have a disability. This Assembly believes that passengers will feel less safe on poorly staffed stations particularly at early mornings and in late evenings. This Assembly urges Transport for London and its Chair, Mayor Boris Johnson, to review this decision and re-affirm reasonable and safe staffing levels right across the London Underground network to ensure passengers continue to receive excellent service from London Underground.”


Notes for editors:

The motion was agreed by 13 votes in favour. The motion was agreed at a meeting of the full London Assembly today. Watch the webcast. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.