Commuters are struggling to renew their annual season tickets for 2016 following Tube station ticket office closures, Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Val Shawcross AM, has warned. Ms Shawcross blamed a lack of forward planning by Transport for London (TfL) after Londoners took to social media to complain that TfL’s online renewal system was failing to work, whilst others complained of long delays waiting to speak to TfL telephone operators. Ms Shawcross said “by closing all Tube ticket offices Boris has made it much harder for people to renew their season tickets.”
Last year the Mayor of London closed 240 ticket offices across the capital leaving commuters renewing their season ticket this year to do so online, over the telephone or at one of six Visitor Centres. However, Londoners used the social media site Twitter to air their grievances with this year’s renewal process. One Twitter user wanting to renew their season ticket complained that the online system was not working, saying “bring back the ticket offices”. Another said paying for his annual season ticket was an “impossible dream”, going on to say “can’t do it at a kiosk, machine or online. Pathetic.”
Ms Shawcross reported that a number of Londoners had contacted her directly to report problems with the renewal system. With one complaining that they had been left on hold to TfL for 45 minutes before being told that they needed to go to one of TfL’s six Visitor Centres or resort to using pay as you go.
Difficulties with the renewal system coincided with another annual fares hike from Boris Johnson, who increased ticket costs by 1%. Ms Shawcross said that with Londoners already fed up with fare rises “the last thing the Mayor should do is compound their suffering by making it harder than ever to actually buy their ticket.”
Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Val Shawcross AM, said:
“By closing all of London’s Tube ticket offices Boris has made it much harder for people to renew their season tickets.
“Twitter has been awash with people complaining that the online renewal system doesn’t work or that TfL’s phone lines are perpetually blocked. It’s clear TfL should have done far more to prepare and make this process far easier for customers.
“With Londoners are already fed up by the latest fare hike, the last thing the Mayor should do is compound their suffering by making it harder than ever to actually buy their ticket.”