London’s transport watchdog TravelWatch is holding a public board meeting tomorrow after a public consultation into plans to close 51 ticket offices across the capital.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) is calling on the mayor to halt Arriva London (ARL) and Transport For London’s plans.
The union is warning of severe safety issues without present staff and believes closures would mean more delays for customers.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT has warned for years that cuts to staffed services would turn the transport network into a thugs’ and criminals’ paradise.”
He added: “This is just the latest attack on a properly staffed, safe, secure and accessible railway for all and RMT is determined to halt these plans in their tracks.”
The southwest London Overground stations that risk losing their ticket offices include Acton Central, South Acton, Imperial Wharf, Shepherd’s Bush and Kensington Olympia.
Crimes have risen by 16.1% on the London Overground between April-June this year compared to the same period in 2017, according to TfL’s crime and anti-social behavior quarterly statistics bulletin.
Having reviewed all the London Overground stations, RMT said it found the main point of refuge and safety was the ticket office or the staff cabin.
A RMT spokesperson said: “They are trying to get rid of the staff, that’s their intention so they can save money on the headcount.”
TravelWatch said they received an enormous response in their consultation. Committee of public liason officer Luke Muskett, 27, said: “It’s literally, thousands of responses.”
He added: “We’ve been given an extension on this issue because we got so much response, it’s been a lot. People should write to us what they’re upset about.”
An interim report on the consultation will be presented at their public board meeting, on Tuesday November 23, at their headquarters in 169 Union Street, London, SE1 0LL, between 10am-12.45pm.
A spokesperson said: “The volume of correspondence received is significant in scale and therefore a full analysis has not been possible in the timescales for this meeting.”
TfL and ARL were contacted for comment.
For more information on the closures got to www.travelwatchlondon.org.uk. Find RMT’s petition at https://www.rmt.org.uk/campaigns/rail/save-london-overground-ticket-offices/