|Local Tube Ticket Offices to Close by 2015|
But Piccadilly Line is to have 24 hour service at weekends
There was mixed news for Hammersmith in the Mayor of London's announcement of huge changes to the tube service, most notably the closure of all ticket offices on the underground, including all stations in W6 and W14.
The Mayor also announced on November 20 that many lines, including the Piccadilly and Central, will run a 24 hour service on Friday and Saturday nights. The District and Hammersmith and City lines however are not yet included in these plans.
Despite Boris Johnson’s manifesto commitment to keep them open, every ticket office will close by 2015 with the loss of up to 750 jobs. The RMT union have described the plans as "lethal" and have already warned about the possibility of strike action which could take place before Christmas.
TfL say there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the plan although staff may need to accept the need for "greater flexibility".
TfL say that many stations will still have ticket halls rather than ticket offices and staff will be encouraged to deal face-to-face with passengers.
There will be four different categories of stations including Gateway stations such as major arrival points like Kings Cross, Destination stations such as Leicester Square and Metro and Local stations.
The distinction between the latter two remains unclear with services at the Metro station described as " dedicated customer service staff with the latest in mobile technology permanently located in ticket halls" while Local stations "‘will have staff stationed in ticket halls providing help to customers who need it". TfL have committed that all stations will have staff working at them whilst trains are operating.
Londonwide Assembly Member Fiona Twycross says:
" We need to make sure there are enough staff on duty to keep our stations safe, help passengers and deal with emergencies. We must protect standards of service and passenger safety. We believe there should be a Passenger’s Charter clearly setting out what Londoners can expect from their transport system. Passengers must be able to get help with tickets, refunds, information and access must be ensured for disabled people."