London Assembly Members expressed their frustration today after a motion in support of keeping ticket offices open at London Underground stations was abandoned when Conservative members left the meeting before a vote could take place – forcing it to be abandoned.
A motion to the Assembly, proposed by Labour Assembly member Valerie Shawcross and seconded by Liberal Democrat member Caroline Pidgeon, called for a review of proposals to cut up to 800 ticket office and gate line jobs from up to 245 tube station ticket offices, which has given rise to safety and security concerns.
Labour’s transport spokesperson, Val Shawcross, said: “I’m dismayed that the Assembly was cynically denied the right to vote on the future of ticket offices. The impact of Boris Johnson’s proposals is not clear and it could that stations will only have one staff member on duty at a time, making them threatening unsafe places.
“A majority of those stations worst affected are in outer London – many in areas represented by those politicians who chose to sabotage the meeting – so I’m surprised by that. The Mayor’s own manifesto said that staffed ticket offices are reassuring and give passengers confidence, so I think it’s right we look at what he’s planned and assess its impact.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, Caroline Pidgeon, said: “The Mayor was elected on a clear commitment to keep ticket offices open. His plans to have many closed for most of the day flies in the face of his election commitment. The safety and security of passengers must come first.”
Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: “When he stood for Mayor, Boris Johnson was very vociferous about the need to protect ticket offices from closure but he now seems to be doing exactly what he attacked the previous mayor for doing. Ticket offices don’t just sell tickets – they are a very visible source of help and advice and help make passengers feel safer.”Other news from London Assembly Labour