Tooting MP Sadiq Khan has condemned plans by Mayor Boris Johnson to close every TFL ticket office at stations in the constituency over the next two years. Leaked plans reveal that all 268 ticket offices in London are to close and are being replaced by just 20 ‘travel stations’ at the busiest stations in London.
As the largest commuter stations in the constituency, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway and Balham tube stations will be particularly badly affected. Residents will have to rely on automated ticket machines to buy tickets or top up their Oyster cards and will have no one to ask for help or assistance.
There are also serious concerns over safety at unstaffed stations and how effectively fewer staff could respond in an emergency.
Sadiq Khan, Tooting MP and Shadow London Minister said:
“These shocking plans will make using London underground much more difficult and less safe. There will be no one present to help commuters who have problems with the ticket machines or with their Oyster cards, or those with disabilities who may need assistance.
“Older people and women will feel especially vulnerable in deserted stations late at night and there are real concerns about having sufficient staff at the station to properly react in an emergency.
“Boris Johnson pledged to keep a ticket office open at every tube station in his manifesto. These revelations are a complete betrayal of that promise in Tooting and Balham and across London. Every journey should matter to the Mayor and he must not go ahead with these plans that ignore the needs and safety of local residents.
“As the Mayor said in his own manifesto 'there is little financial, strategic or common sense in these closures'.”