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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