Closure of London Underground ticket offices will cost the taxpayer £134m

The figures mean more controversy for the plans, which will mean the loss of almost 1,000 jobs


When London Underground bosses announced plans to close ticket offices in tube stations, there was vehement opposition from tube unions at the loss of 897 jobs. Boris Johnson had vowed in his mayoral campaign that he would keep the offices open, but justified the plans by saying they would save £50m a year.

Today, papers for today’s TFL Finance and Policy Committee meeting have revealed that the closures will cost the taxpayer £133,925k.

There are 301 ticket offices to close. The costs will cover the installation of additional ticket machines, four new customer receptions and the conversion of 181 ticket offices for other uses.

Val Shawcross, Transport spokesperson for the London Assembly Labour Group said:

“This argument isn’t about whether staff are based in ticket offices or not. It is about whether there are enough staff in stations to provide the good service Londoners have come to expect, particularly the elderly and disabled who often rely more on station staff for assistance.

“The truth is a staggering £134m of building works and ticket machines won’t make up for the loss of 897 station staff. No matter how user friendly a ticket machine is they cannot provide the same level of advice and customer service that staff could.

“Coming only weeks after tube fares were hiked for the seventh year running many passengers will wonder why they are being asked to pay more money for less staff support on their journey.” 

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9 Responses to “Closure of London Underground ticket offices will cost the taxpayer £134m”

  1. LB

    Meanwhile the Unions are going on strike because one of their drivers were sacked. He turned up for work pissed.

    The unions don’t get a toss unless its about them. The public? Fuck ’em, they can pay.

  2. Franck Magennis

    “Meanwhile, have an unsubstantiated, anti-worker anecdote in place of a reasoned response.”

    Did you read the article or was the title alone enough to trigger your blatant class prejudice?

  3. Guest

    You want to fuck a lot of people, it seems, as you try and blame everyone else.

  4. william

    This is untrue. As with any such project there is an additional cost of investment in technology then annual savings in staff costs which at some point pay back the capital. Break even here looks about 5 years, not bad

    Around the world, fewer and fewer stations have manned ticket offices as economies go cashless

    Except of course is Guardiana, where every bus stop has an office staffed by a ticket maker, ticker seller, cashier, auditor equal opportunities officer and union rep. The roads there have had to be widened to fit them in

  5. Keith M

    Always love how the reactionaries defend bad behaviour to working people. If it was them threatened with redundancy they’d squeal like stuffed pigs.

  6. Guest

    No surprise you ignore what’s actually happening – the mass closure of ticket offices, as you claim that the “payback” of billions of pounds lost per year because of the queues which will result.,,

    Negative infinity is not “five years”.

    As you whine at the concept of the 99% having jobs.

  7. Leon Wolfeson

    They collect dividends rather than working, so..

  8. londona729

    It’s madness to close ticket offices at Brixton, Oxford Circus, Camden Town, South Kensington,etc..

    You can’t even buy an annual or print out an oyster journey statement at a ticket machine!

  9. StormyWaters

    There are no new ticket machines being built. If a station gets another machine it is take from elsewhere.

    How well this policy is serving the traveling public can be seen at busy stations where ticket offices have been closed.

    Ho and the underground no longer says they are closing ticket offices. They are repurposing them.

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