Boris Johnson will break his promise to keep all ticket offices manned on the London Underground it was announced today.
Up to 800 jobs will go across the network including 450 ticket office positions and 200 other station posts.
TfL admit that this will mean many more unmanned ticket offices across the network, although none will close permanently.
In Boris Johnson's Transport manifesto he promised to ensure that "there is always a manned ticket office at every station."
However, the recession, losses from the PPP, and Boris's own spending commitments means that he will now break that promise.
The Liberal Democrat's London Transport spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon said today:
“Boris Johnson was elected promising to defend ticket offices and stop any planned closures that the previous Mayor was proposing across the London Underground network. Today’s announcement is a breathtaking breach of that key commitment he made to Londoners. It’s a complete u-turn."
Labour's London Transport spokesperson Val Shawcross said:
"This is the latest in a long line of broken Boris Johnson promises. He was elected on a pledge of protecting ticket offices and the staff who keep our stations safe but cuts, especially at outer London stations, will make them less safe and passengers feel less secure."
Union bosses have also pledged to fight the decision. RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said this afternoon:
"If these cuts to jobs are bulldozed through by TfL it will turn London’s tube stations into a muggers paradise. RMT will fight to protect passenger and staff security on London Underground and in the event of compulsory redundancies and the undermining of tube safety we will have no hesitation in balloting for action.”
London Underground insist that there will be no compulsory redundancies, and point out that more and more people now use pre-paid Oyster Cards.
And with Boris already raising fares year on year, this is a painful but probably necessary pill for us to swallow.