Mayor Breaks Ticket Office Election Promise

Job losses part of TfL's ‘vision for a safe, efficient and transformed Tube'

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Boris Johnson is accused of breaking his election promise to ensure that "there is always a manned ticket office at every station” after TfL unveiled their ‘vision for a safe, efficient and transformed Tube’.

The ‘vision’ includes the announcement that there is to be a loss of up to 800 jobs across the network including 450 ticket office positions and blames the decline in demand due to the introduction of Oyster cards.

Chiswick Park station's ticket office has been on the list of proposed closures for some time although a 'stay of execution' was granted by his predecessor just months before Johnson was elected as Mayor.

London Underground’s Managing Director, Richard Parry, said, “We’ve set out these proposals today because we want to work with our staff, trades unions, customers and key stakeholders to ensure that we can deliver the best customer service more efficiently.

“We are committed to delivering any change with no compulsory redundancies and, where reductions in posts are necessary, we’ll first seek to avoid filling vacancies and redeploy staff to areas where they will be needed in future.”

Whilst TfL acknowledge that this will mean more unmanned ticket offices they say that none will be closed down permanently.

Lib Dem Transport spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon condemned the Mayor’s ‘complete u-turn’ calling it a ‘breathtaking breach of that key commitment he made to Londoners’. She said, “Boris Johnson was elected promising to defend ticket offices and stop any planned closures that the previous Mayor was proposing across the London Underground network.”

London Assembly Conservatives discovered that TfL are now re-consulting over the closure of ticket offices and that these will be reviewed after this consultation.

Tube worker’s union RMT have vowed to oppose the cuts. "If these cuts to jobs are bulldozed through by TfL it will turn London’s tube stations into a mugger’s paradise,” said general secretary Bob Crow. “RMT will fight to protect passenger and staff security on London Underground and in the event of compulsory redundancies and the undermining of tube safety we will have no hesitation in balloting for action.”

March 11, 2010