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2016-02-24 RMT-001
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Statutory London passenger body set to order Transport for London to keep some ticket offices open after RMT campaign


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RMT

Statutory London passenger body set to order Transport for London to keep some ticket offices open after RMT campaign
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date
24 February 2016
source RMT
type Press release



RAIL UNION RMT can reveal today that after a careful review, London TravelWatch is set to order Transport for London to keep a number of former Silverlink ticket offices open - thereby throwing into question the credibility of TfL’s entire ticket office closure programme.

Transport for London, sought to close all Tube ticket offices despite many having high levels of usage and a clear majority of passengers wanting them retained. Nevertheless, TfL was able to close even the busiest ticket offices at hub stations with impunity without any statutory consultation with passengers.

However, ticket offices which used to serve the national railway are subject to a statutory process, requiring a formal consultation with passengers. This includes what are known as the former Silverlink ticket offices.

TfL belatedly tried to also close these ticket offices - at Gunnersbury, Harlesden, Harrow & Wealdstone, Kensal Green, Kenton, Kew Gardens, North Wembley, Queen's Park, Stonebridge Park, South Kenton and Wembley Central stations. A consultation co-ordinated by statutory passenger body London TravelWatch was carried out in January 2016.

RMT vigorously contested TfL’s proposals, submitting a detailed explanation of the limitations. The union helped mobilise passengers to engage with the consultation – resulting in a large number of responses (around 1,600) being received by London TravelWatch.

Following consideration of the concerns expressed, officers at the statutory body have decided to recommend to the London TravelWatch board that ticket offices at Harrow & Wealdstone, Wembley Central and Queen’s Park stations remain open on a permanent basis* - with the other eight closures being postponed to at least December.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“Cutting booking offices has resulted in disproportionate numbers of Tube staff being deployed away from other essential duties to supervise ticket machine usage, with queues of dazed and frustrated travellers snaking around ticket halls becoming routine.

“Without ticket offices, passengers are not able to access the full range of tickets and services they need - they clearly find it harder to obtain advice on ticket and fare options without a staffed ticket office.

“Vulnerable passengers, especially those who are less technically minded, including the elderly, disabled or visitors, end up overspending and being deterred from travel on public transport. Those are exactly the points that RMT has raised throughout the Silverlink consultation.

“The results of London TravelWatch’s review throws TfL’s entire ticket office closure programme into question – that ticket office closure programme should be reviewed and reversed. This important development will spur on RMT’s continuing campaign against ticket office closures including the latest fight against the threat to over 80 offices on Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern routes.”

Ends
Geoff Martin
07831 465 103


Railhub Archive ::: 2016-02-24 RMT-001





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