Labour London Assembly Transport Spokesperson Val Shawcross AM has launched a new video which highlights the challenges faced by passengers with disabilities when using the tube. The video, Unfit for the Future: Losing Staff and Ticket Offices on the Tube, looks at how TfL’s Fit for the Future programme, which will see the loss of almost 900 staff and the closure of all tube ticket offices, will impact on transport accessibility in the capital.
In the video serious concerns are raised about the impact of the staff cuts on passengers with disabilities who rely on assistance from staff in order to access the Tube.
Val Shawcross AM warned that Boris Johnson’s plan to cut almost 900 tube station staff would be disproportionately felt by many people with disabilities and it was important to ensure their voices were heard.
The Mayor’s decision to close all 301 London Underground ticket offices, as part of the Fit for the Future programme, will cost taxpayers nearly £134m. Alongside the ticket office closures, 897 staff are also set to be axed with many stations expected to see significant cuts in their staffing levels.
Accessibility campaign group Transport for All said:
“Whether its advice on planning step-free routes, or guiding partially sighted people to the right platform; ticket machines and CCTV cameras can never replace the assistance offered by 900 trained Tube staff. These cuts risk undermining our freedom to travel as older and disabled transport users.”
Labour London Assembly Transport Spokesperson Val Shawcross AM said:
“Boris Johnson’s tube station staff cuts risk making life much harder for people with disabilities to access the tube and all the fantastic benefits it brings.
“It’s important that TfL listens to passengers with disabilities and does something to address the impact brought about by their changes. After years of focus on making stations more accessible, these cuts risk becoming a massive step backwards. Thus far it isn’t at all clear that the Mayor has taken proper account of the impact these changes are having on passengers with accessibility needs.”