Tube cutbacks provoke strike threat

Up to 800 London Underground ticket office positions are to be cut as more passengers switch from paper tickets to Oyster cards.

Tube authorities say that all existing ticket offices will remain open, but head-count will be fall through a hiring freeze and voluntary redundancies.

The RMT union has voted to strike in response to the cutbacks, which amount to almost five per cent of London Underground staff.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “These cuts would leave stations and platforms unstaffed and would remove the very people who are trained to deal with emergencies.”

Union officials will meet on Wednesday to fix a date for the strike.