24 hour tube – but no ticket offices
The London Underground is famous for being well, a bit wonky. And in that particularly quaint British way, it shuts early, leaving you stranded in the middle of town and at the mercy of a minicab that costs £30 no matter where you want to go.
But all that is going to change - plans are afoot to make the tube a 24hr service at weekends, and TfL says it’s going to get rid of ticket offices – with the loss of 750 jobs. But it’s OK, because they’ll deploy some remaining staff in the stations! (So they can get stabbed more easily).
TfL reckon the move will be ‘better for customers’ as well as saving £40million a year. They’re talking about Wifi and Contactless payment points and more visible staff. The RMT don’t really see it that way, however – they prefer to call it ‘a lethal programme of cuts.’
News of a 24 hour tube is bound to go down well with passengers, and Boris is using his most eloquent Olympics-style rhetoric to hide the fact that people are losing their jobs and that TfL has had its budget reduced by £78million this year and next.
‘For 150 years, the Tube has been the beating heart of London,’ he said, in his best Churchill voice. ‘Its tunnels and tracks providing the arteries that have transported millions of people and helped to drive the development and economic growth of our great city.’
London Underground has announced a 90 day consultation, but first they’re all going to have to get past RMT leader Bob Crow– and he’s a big lad who is NOT happy.
‘The mayor must believe he is some sort of magician if he thinks he can slash a thousand jobs and still run safe services, when everyone knows that staffing has already been cut to the bone while passenger demand continues to rise. Throwing in the plan for night time operation at the weekends is just a smokescreen to try and camouflage the real issue, which is a savage cuts to jobs, access and safety.’
The unions say they will fight the plans. Meanwhile, passengers will probably be delighted to get home after the pub...