Labour have described the £134m cost of closing 301 Tube ticket offices as “staggering” and say passengers “are being asked to pay more money for less staff support on their journey.”
Mayor Boris Johnson announced the closures in November 2013 despite halting plans by former Mayor Ken Livingstone to close 40 ticket offices when he took office in 2008.
Mr Johnson later approved a reduction in opening hours at many ticket offices and now says the increased take-up of Oyster and the availability of contactless fares means the offices are no longer needed.
Almost 900 jobs will be lost as part of the closures, with unions and some opposition groups on the London Assembly claiming the changes will make the Tube less accessible for older and disabled passengers.
The also say closing ticket offices will make it harder for some passengers to buy tickets and lead to fewer staff at stations.
City Hall and Tube bosses deny the claims, and say staff will be available in ticket halls and on platforms to assist those with mobility impairments or who need help with their transaction.
The cost of the closures, which also includes installing new ticket machines and converting the offices to other uses was confirmed in a Transport for London committee report.
Commenting on the figure Val Shawcross, Labour’s Transport spokesperson on the London Assembly, said: “The truth is a staggering £134m of building works and ticket machines won’t make up for the loss of 897 station staff.
“No matter how user friendly a ticket machine is they cannot provide the same level of advice and customer service that staff could.
“Coming only weeks after tube fares were hiked for the seventh year running many passengers will wonder why they are being asked to pay more money for less staff support on their journey.”
TfL and London Underground insist “more staff than ever before” will be on hand to assist passengers and say the closures will free up money to be re-invested in the network.
LU’s Gareth Powell said: “Our plans to modernise customer service on the Underground will mean direct savings of £50m per year following implementation, and £270m in total to the TfL business plan to 2020/2021 alone.
“These are net savings and already take into account one off implementation costs and voluntary redundancies. In addition, higher commercial revenue from better shops and services at stations increase these savings even further.”