London Underground has dismissed as “nonsense” claims by Labour’s City Hall transport spokesperson that Tube job cuts will leave passengers “forced to pay more money for less staff support.”
Val Shawcross AM said her analysis of staffing cuts arising from the decision to axe Tube ticket offices would see some station lose “up to 58% of staff”.
LU will axe around 590 posts across the network as part of the closures, although it says some of these are currently empty and has promised that all affected employees will be offered alternative employment.
According to Labour’s figures, “more than half” of all visible staff at Baron’s Court, Edgware, Kilburn, East Ham and Hammersmith stations would disappear under LU’s plans.
Ms Shawcross commented: “It beggars belief that, with tube fares due to rise by 2.5% in January, Boris Johnson has the nerve to cut front line staffing levels at stations by an average of 16% across London. What we will see at many stations are passengers being forced to pay more money for less staff support.
“Politicians are often in the business of demanding more for less. It seems in this case Boris Johnson is happy with tube passengers getting less for more.”
However Phil Hufton, London Underground’s Chief Operating Officer, said claims that passengers wouldn’t benefit from the changes were “nonsense” and insisted “there will be more staff visible and available to help our passengers and keep them safe and secure.”
He added: “Every station will remain staffed at all times whilst the service is running and there will be even more visible staff available to help customers including those with disabilities and new Visitor Information Centres will cater for the needs of tourists and visitors to London at the busiest Tube stations, including selling tickets.”
Passenger watchdog, London Travelwatch, is currently holding a non-binding consultation on the closures which it helps will inform LU’s final decisions.