THE RMT is staging a campaign to prevent the closure of 51 London Overground ticket offices.
A formal consultation on the closures has been launched by Overground operator Arriva Rail London – or ARL – and Transport for London.
The union said it will be holding a day of action on 3 October, when Overground users will be offered leaflets explaining the union’s stance.
It believes that many passengers will be put at a disadvantage if the offices are axed, particularly those who are older, less able or unfamiliar with the system. The union also claims that safety would be put at risk.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘I am calling on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to oppose this retrograde plan for wholesale closures in the strongest possible terms. Ticket offices play a crucial role at stations.
‘London needs to welcome its passengers, visitors and tourists not with a machine, but a welcoming and friendly ticket office who can provide a full range of services. This is just the latest attack on a properly staffed, safe, secure and accessible railway for all and RMT is determined to halt these plans in their tracks.’
TfL said: ‘ARL’s proposals include making staff more visible and available at stations, providing assistance and information where it is most needed, and modernising the process for selling tickets to reflect changes in how people are paying for their travel. As part of this, it is now consulting with rail industry bodies and London TravelWatch about closing ticket offices on stations where there are fewer than 12 ticket sales per hour.
‘The proposals will not compromise safety, and all stations will continue to be staffed from 15 minutes before the first train of the day until 15 minutes after the last – a continuing commitment which makes London Overground stations stand out on the National Rail network.’