South Wimbledon becomes first ticket office casualty as closures roll out across tube network

South Wimbledon Station became one of the first London Underground stations to see their ticket offices closed today.

The closure plans devised by Transport for London (TfL) which outline savings of £50m a year took effect this morning as both Queensway and South Wimbledon’s offices closed.

Controversial plans by TfL are to move staff from ticket offices into ticket halls, gates and platforms to ‘modernise’ the tube service without forcing people out of employment.

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) rail union objects to the closures, claiming that 953 jobs will be cut.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: “We are opposed to the closure of South Wimbledon ticket office and the hundreds of other offices that Boris Johnson is planning to close this year.

“This is happening at the same time as ministers are issuing new guidelines to try and force train firms to offer cheaper tickets at expensive ticket machines, something that does not happen at the moment.

“The mass closure of ticket offices is part of another grand vanity project by Boris Johnson, the all night Tube. He is funding this loss making project by axing over 900 jobs and closing all ticket offices.”

swim2BOARDED UP: Ticket office windows were shut to commuters today

So far the plans will not deplete stations of staff all together but Wimbledon Park ticket office is set to close between April and June, Colliers Wood and Southfields between July and September and Morden, Tooting Bec and Tooting Broadway between October and December.

TfL plan to close or transform 85% of ticket offices by the end of 2015 and are set to close all 278 tube station ticket offices by 2016.

Just 150 new ticket machines are to be introduced across the tube network and new visitor centres will be implemented at larger stations such as Victoria, Euston and King’s Cross with over 800 jobs being vacated.

Mike Brown, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “Our customers and our staff remain at the heart of everything we do and we recognise that without them London Underground wouldn’t be what it is today.”

He continued: “I have made a commitment that all stations will remain staffed at all times and there will be more of our people visible and available to assist our customers in ticket halls, with record numbers of staff on our platforms.”

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