Row Over Leaked Plans To Shut Ticket Offices

Wimbledon commuters would be among those affected

Leaked plans showing all 268 tube ticket offices, including the one at Wimbledon mainline station, could be closed have sparked a huge row.

Under the confidential TfL plans, ticket offices would be replaced by 20 or more "travel centres" at the bigger stations such as Waterloo, Kings Cross and Euston.

Passengers wanting to buy tickets at other stations would have to use automatic machines instead.

Merton council leader Stephen Alambritis (pictured right at Morden ticket office) has today joined those condemning the plans.

He said: "I'm astounded that Boris wants to close every single ticket offices in Merton. These plans will make travel to and from central London more difficult and less safe for Merton residents.

"I know from my own experience that the automated ticket machines are regularly out of order and we all know what it's like when your Oyster card stops working. Commuters will now have nowhere to turn for help.

"Merton residents will feel less safe using the station when they know there is no-one in the ticket office to help them in an emergency. It will have a disastrous effect on commuters and the local community."

The TSSA union, which represents ticket office staff, also claims 2,000 jobs could be lost in two years.

Richard Tracey, London Assembly Member for Merton & Wandsworth responded: "TfL for some years have been looking at the fact that the vast majority of travellers use Oyster these days, and ticket office closure talk goes back to 2007 with Ken Livingstone as Mayor.

"Boris postponed it for a while, but then advised by TfL started closing some offices. Boris and the GLA Conservatives have always said adamantly that there must be staff at stations to help anyone who needed help and guidance - but not behind glass windows in ticket offices in most stations."

August 13, 2013

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