Labour’s Westminster Councillors have today condemned plans by Boris Johnson to close every TFL ticket office at underground and overground stations in Westminster over the next two years. Leaked plans reveal that all 268 ticket offices in London are to close and are being replaced by just 20 ‘travel stations’ at the busiest stations in London.
Residents, visitors, tourists and people travelling around Westminster for business will have to rely on automated ticket machines to buy tickets or top up their Oyster cards and will have no one to ask for help or assistance.
There are also serious concerns over safety at unstaffed stations and how effectively fewer staff could respond in an emergency.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said:
“These plans will make travelling around Westminster more difficult and less safe. Automated ticket machines are regularly out of order and we all know what it’s like when your Oyster card stops working. Commuters will now have nowhere to turn for help. Westminster residents will feel less safe using the station when they know there is no one in the ticket office to help them in an emergency. It will have a disastrous effect on local businesses and on the tourist industry as well as on the local community.”
Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow London Minister said:
“Boris Johnson pledged to keep a ticket office open at every tube station in his manifesto. These revelations are a complete betrayal of that promise in Westminster and across London. Every journey should matter to the Mayor and he must not go ahead with these plans that ignore the needs and safety of hard working Londoners. As the Mayor said in his own manifesto ‘there is little financial, strategic or common sense in these closures’.”