Friday, September 9, 2011

Axe London train ticket offices to save £1bn

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association uncovered a scheme which could affect 265 stations in London and the south east, it said.

Ticket offices on the hit list are all located at stations which serve fewer than 250,000 passengers each year.

That has been blasted by the TSSA, which claims the move would make stations more dangerous for passengers and also ram up the cost of tickets.

Gerry Doherty, who is chief of the Union, said: “This is a double whammy for millions of passengers. Last month they were told that fares will rise by 25% over the next three years, and they are now set to lose one in four ticket offices.

“Philip Hammond (Transport Secretary) should come to the Dispatch Box in the next few days and give a clear undertaking that he is going to ditch these draconian cuts in services to passengers.

A government spokesman declined to go into detail about the list in the McNulty report, which runs to hundreds of pages on how to cut railways spending by £1 billion a year.1

“We are currently considering the findings of Sir Roy McNulty’s independent report and any of his proposed changes to rail fares or ticketing will be examined as part of a Government review,” he told

Ticket offices across the UK are on the list – a total of 675.

More than 1,000 jobs would go under the plan, claimed the TSSA.

Savings are needed, an Association of Training operating companies’ spokesman said.

“The industry needs to cut costs as a way of limiting future fare rises and providing better value for money for the taxpayer,” he said.

“Recent years have seen a fundamental shift in the way that people buy train tickets. There have been big increases in the use of ticket machines, rail websites and smartcards, meaning that around one in three tickets is now bought from station ticket offices.”
Source: London24

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