London Underground releases figures as second union votes for strike

Union desperate to see off strike on London Tube network

TUBE bosses desperate to head off a general strike have released new figures to show how redundant some ticket offices have become.

The TSSA union is set for talks with its RMT counterpart this week after members voted to strike over London Underground cutbacks.

They claim stations will be left unmanned by the estimated 800 job cuts planned and they fear passenger safety will be compromised.

But TfL this week revealed some ticket offices sell as few as seven tickets every hour - with overall sales from ticket offices down by 28 per cent over the last four years.

“Thanks to the success of Oyster, just one in 20 Tube journeys now starts with a ticket office transaction,” said Howard Collins, London Underground’s chief operating officer.

“Indeed, several ticket offices are selling just a handful of tickets each hour, and many go for hours on end without any purchases from a ticket office window. We want our staff to be visible at stations, in places where they can assist customers.”

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North Ealing, Latimer Road and Moor Park are currently the quietest ticket offices, while the Canary Wharf East site sells just 23 tickets an hour.

TSSA leader Gerry Doherty will meet RMT leader Bob Crow next week to plan a campaign of industrial action which will probably begin in September unless London Mayor Boris Johnson abandons his plans.

Mr Doherty said: “These cuts are being driven by the Government as much as by Boris so our battle is with Downing Street as much as TfL.

“We want to serve notice on David Cameron that we are not going to sit idly by while he starts cutting jobs and services in London in the run up to the Olympic Games.”

TSSA members voted 72.6 per cent in favour of strike action with 27.4 per cent saying no. For action short of strike action, the voting was 88.7 per cent in favour with 11.3 per cent against.