Stuart King, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Putney, has condemned plans by Boris Johnson and Conservative-run Transport for London to massively reduce ticket office opening hours at Southfields, East Putney and Putney Bridge stations. Under the plans:
- East Putney ticket office would be open 40 hours a week less
- Putney Bridge ticket office would open 48 hours a week less
- Southfields ticket office will be open nearly 51 hours a week less
The cuts will mean that no one using Putney Bridge or East Putney tube stations will be able to purchase a ticket from a ticket office before 7am; nor after 7pm. On Saturdays, the Southfields ticket office will shut up shop at 3.30pm (it is currently staffed until 9pm).
Ticket offices are about more than just having another option for buying a ticket or asking for travel advice. Stations that are staffed are safer stations. Like many of you, I'm a commuter myself: we know how foreboding largely deserted platform stations can feel - especially if you know there are no staff around.
In 2008 Tory Boris Johnson won the Mayoralty of London with a promise to set about "halting the proposed Tube ticket office closures and ensuring there is always a manned ticket office at every station." So there's no wriggle-room for the Conservatives here: this is a flat out breaking of their promise to London.
It comes on top of fare rises of up to a third since 2008 under the Tories; the threat of closure of popular bus routes like the 28 and shocking incompetence that has turned a trading surplus at Transport for London with Labour into a gaping £1.7 billion black hole.
I will be doing all I can to stop these reckless closures. I also want to work with anyone else who wants to do the same. I am sure that the Putney Society, Wandsworth Council, the local MP and others - including my opponents in other political parties, will want to do all we can to persuade the Mayor not to break his election promise and to protect Putney's tube stations from these cuts.
Labour parliamentary candidate for Putney
March 18, 2010