Passenger watchdog London TravelWatch has been asked to carry out an independent review into the closure of Tube ticket offices.
Plans to close 40 offices were first approved by former Mayor Ken Livingstone in 2007 but were initially opposed by successor Boris Johnson who campaigned in the 2008 City Hall election on a pledge to halt the programme.
However after the election Mr Johnson approved reductions in opening hours and, in 2013, authorised plans to close all ticket offices, the last of which was shuttered this earlier this year.
Both former Mayors and Transport for London claimed the closures were necessary in the face of falling ticket sales as ever greater numbers of passengers adopt Oyster and contactless payments.
However the closures were opposed by some unions and London Assembly members who expressed concern about the ability of passengers to buy tickets and access help and advice.
During this year’s election Mayor Sadiq Khan promised to review the closures, although campaign sources played down the prospect of any re-opening.
Today Mr Khan announced that London TravelWatch, which is independent of the Mayor and is funded by, and answers to, the London Assembly, would conduct the review.
The watchdog’s work will focus on the safety of using the Tube, the ability of passengers to purchase the right ticket and whether they can access the information and support they need to get around London.
The cost of the review will be covered by TfL on behalf of the Mayor.
TravelWatch previously carried out a wide-ranging consultation with passengers ahead of the closures. City Hall says a report containing the findings of its review is expected to be published before the end of the year.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “As promised in my manifesto, I’m pleased that London Travel Watch will carry out an independent review into the impact of ticket office closures, looking at the concerns individuals and groups have raised.
“Millions of Londoners use stations across our transport network every day, and it’s vital that everyone feels safe and gets the right support and information they need when they travel around our city.
“With the launch of the Night Tube, and our continuing modernisation of London’s transport infrastructure, we particularly need to ensure disabled people get the right assistance when they need it, and make sure no-one feels unsafe around our more quiet stations late at night.”
London TravelWatch Chair, Stephen Locke, added: “We are delighted that the Mayor has commissioned us to carry out an independent review of London Underground’s ticket office changes.
“The ability to buy tickets and get easy access to information are fundamental issues for passengers. We will be taking a detailed look at how well the system is working and whether it can be improved for commuters, occasional travellers and visitors to London.
“It is vital that the changes work for everyone so we will also look at whether the system can be improved for passengers with disabilities or other specific needs.”