Islington Council leader slams ‘reckless’ plans to close all tube ticket offices in the borough
PUBLISHED: 06:45 13 August 2013
The head of Islington Council has slammed a clandestine plan to close ticket offices at every Tube station in Islington.
Cllr Catherine West, leader of the ruling Labour group, was reacting to alleged plans by Transport for London (TfL) to close booths the borough’s stations – Angel, Tufnell Park, Archway, Old Street, Farringdon, Highbury and Islington, Finsbury Park, Caledonian Road, Holloway Road and Arsenal – along with all Tube stations in the capital.
The scheme, intended to save millions of pounds, was said to be revealed in a leaked, confidential document which listed the stations and asked “ticket offices staying open?” with a “no” next to each one.
Cllr West said: “These secret plans are another broken promise from the Tory Mayor and a blow for ordinary Londoners, who are already facing sky high Tube and bus fare rises.
“Thousands of people, particularly older customers and people with disabilities, rely on ticket office staff. Ticket machines don’t always work and when you’re travelling late at night manned offices provide reassurance and advice.
“Islington’s busy stations need ticket offices and I’ll be strongly opposing these reckless plans.”
Under the rumoured plan, the ticket offices would be replaced by 20 travel centres at larger stations, which could include King’s Cross.
Passengers wanting to buy tickets at other Tube stations would have to use automatic machines instead.
TfL refused to confirm or deny the move.
Mike Brown, managing director of London Underground, said: “ We are committed to running more trains and that all Tube stations will continue to be staffed in future, with staff visible and available to help our customers.”
He added: “In recent years, we have successfully reduced costs and at the same time improved services. The Tube is now carrying more passengers, more safely and reliably than ever before. Any changes we propose to the way we staff our services in future will be discussed with our staff first.”
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