Local London Assembly Member John Biggs today urged residents in Tower Hamlets not to miss out on their chance to help stop the Mayor of London’s proposal to close all the Capital’s tube ticket offices. If implemented the decision would not only meant the loss of every one of London’s ticket offices but would see 900 station staff axed.
Boris Johnson plans to axe tube ticket offices and their staff despite the fact that last year almost 40% of ticket sales were conducted by staffed station counters. Opponents of the cuts argue that, even without ticket offices, staff should be retained to deal with more complex queries such as refunds and to help people unfamiliar with the tube network or less comfortable using ticket machines, for example tourists.
During his election campaign in 2008 Johnson pledged not to close any front counters promising to ensure there “is always a manned ticket office at every station”.
The consultation, which launched on Friday 15th August and runs for 6 weeks, is run by London TravelWatch and can be completed at www.Londontravelwatch.org.uk.
John Biggs, London Assembly Member for Tower Hamlets said:
“Not only has Boris Johnson gone back on his word to keep staffed ticket offices, he also wants to axe 900 staff. Whilst we are not opposed to a modernised service utilising new technology to free staff from ticket counters, it is imperative that those staff are retained in the station and remain accessible to passengers.
“People in Tower Hamlets need staff there to help them and deal with the problems which arise. They don’t want the unstaffed ghost stations they would get if Boris Johnson’s cuts are allowed to go through.
“Now is the chance for local people to have their say and tell Boris Johnson that closing ticket offices and cutting hundreds of staff just isn’t on, especially after he specifically promised not to.”