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Rise of Oyster and contactless cards could lead to Overground ticket office closures

PUBLISHED: 14:24 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 18:17 15 September 2017

The role of ticket offices on the Overground network is set to be reviewed (Picture: David Mirzoeff)

The role of ticket offices on the Overground network is set to be reviewed (Picture: David Mirzoeff)

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Ticket offices on the Overground network are set to be reviewed, with the network’s operator claiming there will be no “compulsory redundancies”.

The move, which aims to make staff more “visible and accessible”, will see each station assessed on an individual basis in response to the growth of Oyster card and contactless payment use.

London Overground, which is operated by Arriva Rail London (ARL), said: “The plans are being developed so that there will not be a need for compulsory redundancies.

“Following the consultations, customers can expect to see improvements to their journey experience, with more staff visible and accessible, from next year.

“In addition, the number of staff employed in permanent mobile revenue protection and security roles across the London Overground network is planned to be trebled by early 2019.

“They will act as a deterrent to crime and anti-social behaviour and assist customers once on their journeys.”

But union bosses have raised concerns about the plans, which come after similar closures were implemented across the Tube network following a series of strikes.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said: “RMT is deeply concerned about the proposals which in our view could see the elimination of ticket offices across London Overground.

“Our experience in the past shows that, despite promises to the contrary, the closure of ticket offices leads to the wholesale destaffing of stations with serious consequences for safety and security.”

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, added: “We are extremely disappointed to see Transport for London engaging in a review that may lead to more ticket offices closing.”

Jonathan Fox, Transport for London’s Director of London Rail, said: “The London Overground network has improved enormously over the last decade.

“Over the years we have seen significant changes to how customers use stations and pay for travel and this exercise will enable ARL to consider how best to respond to these and make sure the Overground retains its position as one of the best train services in the UK.”

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