Council slams plans to shut ticket offices

Islington Council has condemned controversial plans to shut all but 30 of the Underground’s tickets offices.

The RMT transport workers’ union made public a leaked Transport for London report this week saying 228 of the 258 offices could be unmmaned within five years.

The confidential document suggests the creation of “travel centres” at major stations, with passengers encouraged to use bank cards instead of Oyster.

Cllr Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “Thanks to the Mayor of London, Islington residents are already being forced to pay hundreds of pounds more every year to travel on overcrowded and delayed services. The last thing we need is unstaffed Tube stations.”

Jennette Arnold, London Assembly member for Islington, said: “Unmanned stations are intimidating places for elderly and more vulnerable passengers and an invitation to criminality.”

London Undergound managing director Mike Brown said no decisions have been taken but added: “Londoners want a modern, safe, economical and efficient Undergound. This contains some suggestions as to how that might be achieved.”

Driverless trains are also planned, said the report.