Tuesday 7 January 2020 5:29 pm

Tfl set to cut hours of London Overground ticket offices

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed it will cut the hours of London Overground ticket offices after an ongoing row with the rail union.

TfL announced today that a swathe of ticket offices will have their hours cut if they are deemed to not be busy enough to be open all day.

Read more: London bus drivers threaten strike action

The decision was taken because less than two per cent of ticket sales happen through ticket officers, according to TfL.

The quietest offices, such as Bruce Grove and Penge West, will have staffed offices between just 7.30am and 10am.

There will be no change in some of the busiest stations, such as New Cross Gate, Walthamstow Central and Willesden Junction.

London Overground were originally planning on permanently closing many ticket offices, however intervention by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) appears to have reversed the decision.

Now only Brondesbury will have its office removed, after “TfL listened to concerns raised by the trade unions, and worked with [Overground operator] Arriva Rail London”, according to a TfL spokesperson.

However, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said the decision was still not good enough and that it would put people in danger.

The union began balloting its members who work on London Overground about a potential strike in December, however the result is unclear.

“How ever TfL and Arriva Rail London try to dress this up – they are ploughing on with damaging cuts in the face of clear passenger opposition,” Cash said.

“RMT has opposed these cuts from the outset because they will be detrimental to passengers, and in particular disabled and elderly passengers.

“Violence and crime on the railways is soaring – Arriva Rail London and TfL’s decision to decimate ticket office hours and staffing will only serve to make stations less secure and safe.”

Read more: RMT union announces 27 days of South Western Railway strikes

London TravelWatch’s Richard Freeston-Clough praised TfL’s decision to not close station offices en-masse.

He said: “We have got a better outcome for all passengers especially those who find using ticket machines difficult or for whom only a ticket office can sell the right ticket as TfL have invested in new ticket machines and improved customer services.”

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