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Labour Party & union join campaign to halt unsafe Tube cuts

4 December 2013

Londoners urged to 'Say No To Ticket Office Closures'

Muggers Paradise

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A joint campaign has been launched to persuade Londoners to fight plans by Boris Johnson to axe all 268 tube ticket offices and nearly 1,000 jobs.

The TSSA rail union and Labour will distribute over 400,000 leaflets across the capital urging commuters to join in the fight to stop the cuts which they say will threaten tube safety.

Launching the campaign at Clapham Common tube station this morning, union leader Manuel Cortes said: "Londoners must make the Mayor aware of their feelings on this crucial issue. Boris is proposing a treble whammy, a less safe, a less secure and a more expensive tube system."

Surrounded by union and party members carrying placards warning that the tube would become a "Muggers' Paradise", he was joined by Labour's London Shadow Minister Sadiq Khan and Val Shawcross, Labour's GLA transport spokesperson.

The Tooting MP said: "London's Tory Mayor is raising fares while delivering a worse service for commuters. Last week he announced he was taking almost 1,000 staff away from tube stations and yesterday he tried to pull the wool over our eyes by claiming he was freezing fares when in fact commuters will paying £95 more for a zone 1-6 card and three times more than any wage increase. His plans to close ticket offices will mean commuters will have nowhere to turn to when their oyster card is lost, stolen or broken while also reducing accessibility for disabled passengers."

Val Shawcross AM said: "Londoners are paying higher fares but they now face the likelihood of a tube service run with inadequate numbers of staff. The prospect of arriving back at a quiet station at night will worry many older passengers and women travelling alone. In 21st century London, people have the right to a first class tube service for all-we pay first class fare levels after all!".

The union leader added: "The Mayor is taking a huge gamble with the safety of Tube passengers with his plan to sack one out of every two station surpervisors- the key staff in charge of evacuations in the event of any emergency. Even the wealthy intellectual elite who Boris lavished so much praise on last week will know that those sums do not add up to a safe and secure network."

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