Thursday, 25 March 2010

Early closure of Tube ticket offices slammed


News
Early closure of Tube ticket offices slammed
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Under the proposals, the ticket offices at Kennington would close 
eight hours earlier
Under the proposals, the ticket offices at Kennington would close eight hours earlier
PROPOSALS that would see Tube ticket offices shut early, others close altogether and staff laid off have come under fire.
Documents leaked to the South London Press detail Transport for London (TfL) plans to shut ticket offices on most Underground lines up to three hours earlier than they do now.
At Kennington and Lambeth North stations, on the Northern and Bakerloo lines respectively, the ticket offices would close eight hours earlier than they do currently.
The across-the-board cuts would see other ticket offices including Brixton on the Victoria line and Canada Water on the Jubilee line close more than an hour earlier at night.
At Waterloo, half of the ticket offices would be axed in the plans, while all the Clapham Tube stations’ offices would close by 8pm.
Val Shawcross, London Assembly member for Lambeth and Southwark, claims the closures are an attempt by London Mayor Boris Johnson to axe jobs.
She said: “The Mayor is proposing to cut up to 450 jobs from ticket offices and his claim it won’t impact on passengers just doesn’t add up.
“I don’t see how these plans can fail to inconvenience passengers. People value the presence of staff in ticket offices.
“It’s reassuring to know where to find a member of staff in the event of an emergency or if you need information.
“I believe people will feel less comfortable about using Tube stations, particularly late at night.”
A TfL spokeswoman claimed the authority was committed to making no “compulsory” redundancies.
She said: “We have assured staff and customers that all of our stations will continue to be staffed at all times while trains are operating, and that all stations with a ticket office will continue to have one.
“The changes we’re proposing to ticket office opening hours are in line with customer demand.
“Where reductions in posts are necessary, we’ll first seek to avoid filling vacancies and redeploy staff.”
Mr Johnson's transport advisor Kulveer Ranger said: "Every station with a ticket office will continue to have one.
"All stations will be staffed at all times when trains are running and stations will feel safer by moving some staff out of the office and amongst the public.
"This combined with the highest ever levels of police on the network and more CCTV means stations are and will continue to be safe for all that use them."
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