Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs has condemned the Mayor of London’s announcement that tube station ticket offices in Tower Hamlets would close from March next year alongside huge cuts to staffing levels. Despite Boris Johnson’s election pledge not to close any of the tube network’s ticket offices, it was announced last week that all of Tower Hamlet’s ticket offices will be closed by December 2015 resulting in hundreds fewer tube staff in stations.
The closures timeline announced by TfL means that the process for closing the ticket offices in 12 stations in the borough will start in March next year. The closures will also see almost 900 staff cut from the tube stations. John Biggs has expressed particular concern about the impact the staff cuts will have on disabled and elderly passengers.
Despite the reduced staff service planned for tube stations, fares are once again due to go up just a month before the closures start, this will mean fares have risen 40% since Boris Johnson became Mayor.
John Biggs AM, Labour London Assembly Member for City & East London said:
“More people than ever are using the tube network yet Boris Johnson’s cuts will mean hundreds fewer staff there to help passengers. It is outrageous that just a month after Londoners face another round of fare rises, Boris Johnson plans to cut the service they are offered. It’s a real case of the Mayor asking Londoners to pay more and get less in return.
“This fight isn’t about whether staff are based in ticket offices or on platforms, it’s about whether there are enough staff overall to provide customers with a good service, particularly the elderly and disabled.
“Before he was elected Boris Johnson promised voters that he would not close any of the capital’s ticket offices, now he is set to axe them all. Londoners will have to ask how much the Mayor’s word is really worth.”