Unions fight London Overground 'ticket office closures'

Plans to shut dozens of ticket offices across the London Overground network have been announced.

Arriva Rail London, which runs Transport for London's (TfL) overground services, says the proposals are going through a consultation phase.

If the scheme goes ahead, the train company says 65 ticket offices will be shut.

It is a move which has angered trade unions who say the closures will displace staff.

Arriva Rail London says it is examining how tickets are sold at stations in light of the growing use of new technology - in particular contactless payments.

A spokeswoman said: "Before any ticket office closure is permitted, as is common across the rail industry, we would have to adhere to a consultation process which involves the Department for Transport, train operating companies and passenger representative."

The ticket offices will remain open while all views are considered, the Arriva Rail London added.

Presentational grey line


By Tom Edwards, BBC London transport correspondent

This "modernisation" plan sounds very similar to the "fit for future" plan introduced on the Tube.

Under that, in 2015 all ticket offices were closed and staff were moved on to the ticket line, however hundreds of posts were also closed.

Some of those have since been re-introduced after a review ordered by Sadiq Khan.

On the Overground, this review is certainly using the similar language.

How passengers buy tickets has changed dramatically and the company says all stations will be staffed, but what worries the unions is these changes will also mean job losses and lead to unsafe lone working.

Last time, the unions resisted Tube ticket office closures with a number of strikes, but they failed to stop the changes.

In light of that, if the plan is to close ticket offices on the Overground it is difficult to see how they will survive.

Presentational grey line

Two trade unions - the RMT and the TSSA - have jointly produced a "comprehensive" report which highlights the importance of ticket offices and more station staff.

TSSA leader Manual Cortes said "around 200 agency staff are being used to partially plug the gaps" caused by unfilled vacancies at stations.

"The joint union review highlights current concerns over safety, security and staffing levels."

RMT's general secretary Mick Cash said any cuts and closures would have "dire consequences for safety, services and accessibility".

London London_Overground
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
7 views in december
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

A man who survived 12 years in a children's home blighted by a "paedophile ring" told a public inquiry how he cowered under his bed most nights as he called on the council who ran it to apologise to him directly. Paul Connolly, 56, spent 12 years living at St Leonard's Children's Home in Hornchurch while staff routinely attacked boys in their care. Mr Connolly this week told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse how he arrived just before his eig...
U.S. lawmakers have reached an agreement on the Farm Bill that drops a proposal to tighten food stamps restrictions backed by President Donald Trump, and are looking to vote on it this week, according to congressional staffers. Attendees wait in line to enter the 2018 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, U.S., August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jordan Gale The agreement between Republicans and Democrats on the crucial piece of legislation caps a months-long bitter deb...
Historic black and white images give a glimpse inside London's abandoned central London Tube stations which still survive to this day. Londoners are being given the chance to explore inside sealed-off stations including Aldwych and the Jubilee line branch of Charing Cross this winter. Though all tickets for these stations were snapped up within hours of being released, additional tours are expected next year. Remarkable photographs show the escalators lead...
Protesters will march through central London for a pro-Brexit rally backed by English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson and Ukip's leader. Several thousand people are expected to descend on the streets of the capital this Sunday to demand that there is no “betrayal” over Britain’s exit from the European Union. The rally will take place just three days before parliament’s crucial vote on Theresa May's deal. Almost 4,000 people have said they are going o...
Westminster council has launched an inquiry into discrimination and “body-shaming” at nightclubs in the heart of the capital. Officials have revealed a “task group” has been created to look into the problem following recent reports of discriminatory door policies, including at exclusive clubs in areas such as Mayfair. Body image and anti-discrimination campaigners today welcomed the move after a series of cases of alleged racism and “fat-shaming” were high...
A teenager has been stabbed to death in south-east London. Police were called at about 21:40 GMT to Topham House in Prior Street, Greenwich, following reports a man was unresponsive after being stabbed. The 18-year-old died at the scene. A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the death and taken to a police station for questioning. More than 120 murder investigations have been launched across London this year. Image captionPolice have cordo...
Thames Water said the Beast from the East and summer heatwave had an impact on its ability to meet leakage targets as it reported interim pre-tax profits crashing to £67.7 million from £218.5 million a year ago. The water company also revealed the extreme weather sent complaints soaring as it battled supply interruptions, with written customer complaints jumping to 11,083 in the half-year to September 30 from 8,242 a year earlier. Thames Water was ordered...
A British tourist has gone missing in New Zealand, sparking an international appeal for help from her family. Grace Millane was last seen in Auckland on Saturday night (Dec 1), and has not been in contact with her family since - despite her 22nd birthday being on Sunday. Her family, from Basildon in Essex, have alerted the British Embassy in New Zealand and reported her missing to police in Auckland, as well as sharing 'missing' posters on social media. De...
The main reason for sickness absence in the London Fire Brigade is now stress, anxiety and depression, Commissioner Dany Cotton has said. LFB has seen a "small increase" in the number of days taken off as sick leave over the last three years, Ms Cotton, the brigade's most senior firefighter, said. It is the first time mental health has been the leading cause of the absences, she told the London Assembly on Thursday. LFB employed four extra counsellors foll...