Cuts to staffing levels on the London Underground

Date petition submitted: 
08 December 2010
Petition presented by: 
Jenny Jones (past staff) AM,
Petition presented at: 
London Assembly Plenary

Summary of petition

“We, the undersigned, demand that the Mayor and Transport for London rescind the cuts to staffing levels on the London Underground. Every day, London Underground staff help passengers by offering advice on accessible and step free routes; by helping passengers board trains or disembark safely and by lending a hand on stairs and escalators. Visible and present station staff are also crucial in deterring and dealing with crime and antisocial behaviour. Disabled and Older Londoners rely on an adequately staffed tube system to travel safely to work, to enjoy the capital's culture, and to meet friends and family. Cutbacks to staffed stations will condemn more people to becoming housebound and isolated. We urge the Mayor to commit to keeping stations fully staffed, and to ensure that disabled people have the choice to travel safely and accessibly at all times of day.”

Response information

Name of person responding: 
The Mayor
Response date: 
10 January 2011
“I can assure you that the changes that Transport for London are making to the way stations are staffed will not negatively affect the experience of disabled customers travelling on the Tube network. The changes London Underground (LU) propose are being driven by the following factors: • The significant decline In the numbers of customers using ticket offices, particularly following the success of the Oyster Card • The Tube investment programme and the need to adapt our staffing to reflect the introduction of new technology • The need to identify ways to deliver even greater value to both taxpayers and fare payers, without compromising the aspects of our service that are essential. At the core of LU's proposals is a commitment to maintaining fully and safely staffed stations, at all times. Recent years have seen a major Improvement in safety and security on trains and at stations. In addition to the greater presence of LU staff at gate lines and on platforms; the number of police patrolling the Tube network has risen from 450 to more than 700 today. Last year crime fell 8%, with just 13 crimes for every million customer journeys. There are now over 12,000 (CTV cameras on the Tube network, with that figure due to rise to more than 14,000 in years to come, as well as more than 1,500 Help points to assist passengers to call for assistance. I am committed to keep ticket offices open at everyone of our stations that currently has a ticket office service (with the exception of Cannon Street which is being redeveloped) -but with revised opening times to reflect the decline in demand for ticket offices. Today; only 1 in 20 Journeys on the Tube starts with a visit to the ticket office and some 80% of journeys are made using an Oyster card. There is growing use of internet sales and automatic top-ups, and within the stations there is now much greater provision of self-service ticket machines, and a network of 4,000 ticket agents at retail outlets across the capital. We have an opportunity to deploy staff to areas of the station where they can provide greater assistance -on platforms, in ticket halls and at the gate lines, rather than behind a glass screen in a very lightly used ticket office. The number of staff on duty at any particular time of day will depend on the numbers of people using the station and the characteristics and complexity of the station itself. Many stations are also governed by regulations that specify minimum numbers of staff required for the station to remain open; these will continue to apply and will not change.”