Page last updated at 19:59 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

London Underground to axe up to 800 jobs

London Underground managing director Richard Parry on the decision to axe jobs

London Underground (LU) is to axe up to 800 jobs under plans to make savings of £16m a year, the company has announced.

Tube officials said the cuts would include 100 managers, 450 ticket office posts and up to 200 other jobs.

LU said it had completely ruled out compulsory redundancies and would look at re-deploying staff.

The company said a total of between 700 and 800 jobs would go but added that no Underground station ticket offices would shut.

LU's Managing Director Richard Parry said:

"We've set out these proposals today because we want to work with our staff, trades unions, customers and key stakeholders to ensure that we can deliver the best customer service more efficiently.

"Our customers and staff should be assured that all of our stations will continue to be staffed at all times while trains are operating, and all stations with a ticket office will continue to have one."

LU said the proposals, including the job cuts, reflected the "huge success" of the pre-paid Oyster card, which now accounts for about 80% of Tube journeys.

If cuts to jobs are bulldozed through by Transport for London it will turn London's tube stations into a muggers paradise
Bob Crow, RMT

Mr Parry said there had been a "sharp decline" in tickets sold at station ticket offices in recent years, with just one in 20 Tube journeys starting with a ticket office transaction.

LU have said a network of 4,000 ticket posts now exist at shops and retail outlets across London. There are also automatic top-ups and internet sales.

Unions have said the announcement confirmed suspicions they had for several weeks and accused London Mayor Boris Johnson of "betraying" passengers and staff.

Gerry Doherty, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said: "He was elected promising to keep ticket offices fully open and fully staffed.

"He has now broken that promise. We shall fight this all the way if any of our members are threatened with compulsory redundancy."

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT), said:

"If these cuts to jobs are bulldozed through by Transport for London it will turn London's tube stations into a muggers' paradise."

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said:

"London Underground is right in the current tough economic climate to take a hard look at its operations to ensure that they make the most of the people and resources they have.

"As safety is paramount and everyone wants to see customer service improve.

"The best place for the people LU has is among the travelling public - directing, assisting and reassuring them, not sitting incarcerated behind glass."

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