Blog: London mayor Sadiq Khan intends to appoint Val Shawcross CBE as Deputy Mayor for Transport and Deputy Chair of Transport for London

New London mayor Sadiq khan has announced his intention for Val Shawcross to become Deputy Mayor for Transport and Deputy Chair of Transport for London.

After years of planned job cuts and ticket office closures on the tube; this is an oppurtunity for the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor to demonstrate that they want to treat London Underground workers and passengers better; particularly idisabled people and elderly people, many of whom have been most affected by reduction in workers and the closure of ticket offices.

The RMT has consistently called for more staff on the underground not fewer, highlighted the dangers these cuts will bring and fought against the attacks on our members jobs, pay and conditions.

Here are some previous articles and comments from Val Shawcross about tube cuts:

 

September 2014 - Revealed: TfL plans to cut up to 60% of tube station staff 

Val Shawcross AM, Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, said:

“It beggars belief that, with tube fares due to rise by 2.5% in January, Boris Johnson has the nerve to cut front line staffing levels at stations by an average of 16% across London. What we will see at many stations are passengers being forced to pay more money for less staff support.

 

January 2015 - Comment: New tube ticket machines won’t make up for the 900 staff Boris is axing

"The loss of staff, combined with the closure of ticket offices, will leave London Underground workers stretched in their ability to provide assistance to all passengers especially when some outer London stations are left with only one staff member at a time.

In particular, passengers who rely on staff assistance throughout their journey will be put at a disadvantage by these changes. Passengers who are elderly and disabled are set to lose the most as a result of deductions in staff, as staff availability will be under strain.

As we all know, over-crowding on the London Underground is a common problem, yet for London’s most vulnerable passengers it is even more of an issue."

 

February 2015More cuts risk leaving tube staff ‘dangerously isolated’ after jump in assaults

"Frontline London Underground staff have an undeniably challenging job. They come into contact with thousands of passengers every day, manage a diverse range of needs and often work long and late hours. These challenges are only set to rise as staff numbers are cut; and when combined with the introduction of the Night Tube staff may be increasingly vulnerable.

We don’t want to see staff exposed to increased risk of assault, the sooner the Mayor and TfL face up to this problem, the better placed they will be to protect staff in the future."

March 2015 - 'Unfit for Future: Losing Staff and Ticket Offices on the Tube'

This year [2015] there are going to be a lot of changes on the London Underground, and they may affect your ability to travel. By 2016 all of the ticket offices on the tube will be closed, and 900 staff are being cut from tube stations. Transport for London have called this programme of changes ‘Fit for the Future’; but is it really ‘fit’ for London?

Over the next few months I will be investigating what these changes mean for Londoners, whether they be staff on the tube, or everyday commuters. 

 

November 2015 Queues at tube station ticket machines show impact of Mayor's cuts 

“These queues show that the idea that closing all of London’s ticket offices would have no impact has well and truly been rubbished. By combining station staff cuts and ticket office closures Boris has left fewer staff available at stations to help passengers.

“The Mayor needs to recognise the impact his closures are having and urgently review where additional ticket machines and staff need to be added to help ease the strain.”

 

And going back even further to previous tube cuts plans....

 

September 2010 - A proposed motion calling for Boris Johnson to review a 2010 cuts plan

 “The London Assembly is concerned about Transport for London’s proposals to shed up to 800 ticket office and gateline jobs on London Underground which will adversely affect the opening times of 245 ticket offices right across the Tube network. The number of stations which will be staffed by only one person working alone for some time will increase. This round of staff cuts will damage the level of customer service to passengers who will forced to queue for longer to buy their tickets. 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 which makes it difficult to use a ticket machine. This Assembly believes that passengers will feel less safe particularly at early mornings and 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.” 

 

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