Hammersmith and Fulham’s ticket offices start to close this month

Bush Ticket office

I am condemning this month’s ticket office closure at Shepherd Bush which marks the start of a project to close several ticket offices across Hammersmith and Fulham. The move will leave passengers in Hammersmith and Fulham paying more money for less staff support.

The closure comes after it was revealed that the Mayor of London’s plan to close all the capital’s tube ticket offices will cost taxpayers almost £134m.  The cost is staggering and £134m of building works and ticket machines won’t make up for the loss of 897 station staff.

This month’s closure marks the start of a process to close ticket offices in 13 stations in Hammersmith and Fulham. The closures will also see almost 900 staff cut from London’s tube stations. I am particularly concerned about the impact the staff cuts will have on disabled and elderly passengers.

Amongst other things the £134m will fund additional ticket machines in 27 stations, four new customer receptions and the conversion of 181 ticket offices for other uses.

I am very concerned about the ramifications of this month’s ticket office closures. This argument isn’t about whether staff are based in ticket offices or not. It is about whether there are enough staff in stations to provide the good service people in Hammersmith and Fulham have come to expect, particularly the elderly and disabled who often rely more on station staff for assistance.

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 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.

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