“Tripple-whammy hitting train users”
Iain Dysart, Lib Dem council leader in the Wimbledon Guardian, 24 Feb 2011
“During his 2008 Mayoral Campaign, Boris Johnson pledged to keep Tube ticket office opening hours as they were, pointing out they could be reduced or, in some cases, disappear if Ken Livingstone won a further term.How disappointing, therefore, to see him renage on his pledge. We have swingeing reductions in Merton’s Tube station opening hours. London Assembly Liberal Democrat group leader Caroline Pidgeon ran a robust campaign, but was, sadly, unable to change Mr Johnson’s mind.
As with Overground stations, selling tickets is not something only staff can do. But ticket machines can break and cannot answer travellers’ queries. Oyster cards won’t benefit occasional travellers.
Rail unions have claimed that fewer (or in some cases no) visible staff would compromise station security, though it is a pity they want to continually punish the passenger by striking.
And since Mr Livingstone began his comeback campaign from union offices – and has supported strikes – passengers should be clear that they can expect no sympathy from that quarter.
Mr Johnson is in denial. These cuts, his inflation-busting fare rises in January and his utter failure to show leadership over the continuing threat of strikes, representa tripple-whammy against the long-suffering traveller.”