London Underground ticket offices are unlikely to be reopened, according to the chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee.
A review by independent watchdog TravelWatch has been underway to assess the impact of closures on passengers, particularly disabled users, after it was commissioned by Sadiq Khan in September. It’s due by the end of the year.
“Whether they reopen any ticket offices or recommend that, I can’t see that happening,” Caroline Pidgeon told City A.M. of the upcoming review. “I think that decision was made a long time ago.”
Instead, she thinks the review will address some stations needing more staff “and they may put that forward” as a proposal.
The visibility of staff at Tube stations is another concern Pidgeon wants covered.
“The uniform is a really big issue,” she said. “It’s fine having all these staff on the front line and they do look very smart, but they look like most people in a suit. When you’re at a busy station it’s very hard to see them, and I do believe they need to look at having brightly coloured tabards over the uniform, or something to make it very clear this is a member of staff so that people are able to identify them easily."
So far this year, Pidgeon has been particularly impressed with the introduction of the Night Tube – with passenger numbers 50 per cent higher than forecast and only 37 noise complaints to date after the roll-out across three Tube lines. The Northern Line is set to get the Night Tube on 18 November and then the Piccadilly Line on 16 December making it five by the end of the year.
As for priorities going forward, Pidgeon said: "One of the key concerns we have is that we want to make sure all these plans they've got to upgrade all of the Tube lines and the complete upgrade programme is fully funded, and that will be one of the big challenges for the Mayor in his forthcoming business plan and transport strategy going forward."