Londoners are facing a second morning of disruption as Tube workers continue their strike over job cuts and ticket office closures.
London Underground says the numbers of passengers using ticket offices continues to fall due to the popularity of Oyster card and predicts that the introduction of payment by contactless debit and credit cards later this year will further lessen custom.
Tube bosses say staff currently working in ticket offices could offer more help to passengers by being redeployed to ticket halls and platforms where mobile devices will continue to allow them to serve customers and sell tickets.
The changes would see 950 posts axed, although around 200 new jobs will be created when a new night Tube service starts in 2015.
The RMT and TSSA unions say the cuts will make the network less safe and make it harder for disabled other passengers needing assistance to travel.
This week’s strike is the first of two 48-hour walk-outs and will last until 20:59 Thursday 6th February. A second strike will be held on 11 February.
On Thursday morning LU claimed services were running on 9 of 11 lines, however trains are not stopping at all stations and passengers are experiencing delays.
The unions have agreed to talks at the conciliation service ACAS on Friday, but LU has called on them to abandon the strikes and meet today.
LU Managing Director Mike Brown said: “Many thousands of LU and TfL staff are working hard again today to keep customers informed and to keep London moving and open for business. I am grateful to our customers for their patience, and we will be doing everything we can to run as many services as possible. I’m pleased that more staff have come to work today than yesterday.
“My message to the leadership of the RMT and TSSA is why wait to sit down with us until Friday? They should do the right thing, meet us at ACAS today, and suspend this completely unnecessary strike.
“Our plans will see all Tube stations will remain staffed and controlled at all times when services are operating, and we’ll be introducing a 24-hour service at weekends during 2015. In future, there will be more staff in ticket halls and on platforms to help customers buy the right ticket, plan their journeys and to keep them safe and secure.
“We’re committed to implement these changes without compulsory redundancies and there’ll be a job for everyone at LU who wants to work for us and be flexible.”