I have written to over 50 disabled people's organisations in and around London about London Underground's proposed job cuts. Read the letter below ...
I am writing on behalf of the RMT trade union to alert you to London Underground’s plan to cut 800 station staff posts and to severely reduce its ticket office opening hours. I believe that this move will seriously reduce the service that London Underground offers its passengers, and will have a particularly adverse effect on disabled passengers.
London Underground’s millions of passengers include many people with a variety of disabilities, who often rely on public transport as other options are not available to them. Although some disabled people can navigate the system without help, others require staff assistance, whether regularly or occasionally. For example, our staff escort visually-impaired passengers through stations, assist hearing- and mobility-impaired passengers to leave the station in the event of an emergency evacuation, assist passengers who experience a difficult episode such as a fit, and summon medical assistance if and when necessary.
Disabled passengers may also need the personal assistance of a ticket seller at an open ticket office, as it may not be possible or easy for them to use alternative outlets such as a machine or the internet.
Under London Underground’s plans, some stations’ ticket offices will be open for as little as one hour per day, and some offices will close altogether. Several hundred Customer Service Assistance posts - staff who work outside the ticket office assisting passengers - will be removed.
You can read more information about these planned cuts on our website - www.rmtplatform.org.uk/sos. I would be interested to hear the views of your organisation on this issue, and also encourage you to make your concerns known to London Underground and the Mayor of London. I am happy to answer any questions you might have, and could arrange for a speaker to address a meeting of your organisation if you wish. We welcome any support you might be prepared to offer to our campaign to stop these cuts and Staff Our Stations.
RMT London Transport Regional Council