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Passengers really will ‘mind the gap’ left by Mayor’s tube ticket office closures

With work set to begin to close 301 London Underground ticket offices Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson Val Shawcross AM has hit out at the plans saying it will be passengers who suffer as a result of the accompanying 897 staff cuts.

Under TfL plans nine stations will see their ticket offices closed in February with the closure of all the tube station ticket offices due to be complete by April 2016 despite the Mayor of London previously pledging to protect all ticket offices from closure.

Alongside the ticket office closures, 897 staff are set to be axed with many stations seeing significant cuts in their staffing levels. In addition to the staff cuts it was revealed recently that the ticket office closures programme will cost tax payers £134m, a figure Ms Shawcross described as “staggering.

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

“When he was elected Boris Johnson promised Londoners he would protect the capital’s ticket offices, today he starts the process of dismantling each and every one of them. Not only that, he is now intent on axing almost 900 tube station staff in the process. Whilst there is obviously a big role for ticket machines to play, there is no substitute for a member of staff, particularly when you have a query more complex than a ticket purchase. The Mayor will no doubt find that passengers really do mind the gap left by his cuts to station staff and ticket office closures.

“Cutting the number of staff available to help customers will have dramatic impact on tube users, particularly the disabled, elderly and those not used to London’s transport system all of whom will rely more on staff to help them. Whether those staff are based in a ticket office or not isn’t the key point, it’s about making sure there are enough staff to provide the world class service Londoners have come to expect.

“The fact that the Mayor is set on spending £134m of tax payer money closing these ticket offices only weeks after foisting another fares hike on commuters will leave many asking what the Mayor of London is playing at.”

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