COMMUTERS STRUGGLE TO RENEW SEASON TICKETS FOLLOWING TICKET OFFICE CLOSURES -“Twitter awash with complaints” – Val Shawcross / SOUTH LONDON TRANSPORT PROJECTS ANNOUNCED
Commuters are struggling to renew their annual season tickets for 2016 following Tube station ticket office closures, warns Labour’s London Assembly transport spokeswoman Val Shawcross.
She has blamed a lack of forward planning by Transport for London (TfL) after Londoners took to social media to complain that TfL’s online renewal system was failing to work, whilst others complained of long delays waiting to speak to TfL telephone operators.
Last year the Mayor of London closed 240 ticket offices across the capital leaving commuters renewing their season ticket this year to do so online, over the telephone or at one of six Visitor Centres, said a London Assembly Labour party statement.
“Londoners used the social media site Twitter to air their grievances with this year’s renewal process. “One Twitter user wanting to renew their season ticket complained that the online system was not working, saying ‘bring back the ticket offices.
“Another said paying for his annual season ticket was an ‘impossible dream’, going on to say ‘can’t do it at a kiosk, machine or online. ‘Pathetic’.
“Val Shawcross reported that a number of Londoners had contacted her directly to report problems with the renewal system – with one complaining that they had been left on hold to TfL for 45 minutes before being told that they needed to go to one of TfL’s six visitor centres or resort to using pay as you go.
“Difficulties with the renewal system coincided with another annual fares hike from Boris Johnson, who increased ticket costs by one per cent. “Val Shawcross said that with Londoners already fed up with fare rises ‘the last thing the Mayor should do is compound their suffering by making it harder than ever to actually buy their ticket’,”.
Val Shawcross added: “By closing all of London’s Tube ticket offices Boris has made it much harder for people to renew their season tickets.
“Twitter has been awash with people complaining that the online renewal system doesn’t work or that TfL’s phone lines are perpetually blocked. “It’s clear TfL should have done far more to prepare and make this process far easier for customers.
“With Londoners already fed up by the latest fare hike, the last thing the Mayor should do is compound their suffering by making it harder than ever to actually buy their ticket.”
Val Shawcross AM is the London Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark. (Source: GLA Labour party press release).
SOUTH LONDON TRANSPORT PROJECTS ANNOUNCED
Transport services and town centres in South London are to get £148 million in funding for improvement projects in London’s boroughs in 2016/17.
The annual borough funding is provided by TfL to help the boroughs pay for local transport projects set out in their Local Implementation Plans. (LIPs are plans that show how the boroughs will support the Mayor’s Transport Strategy in their area.)
For 2016/17, TfL’s financial support for the boroughs’ LIPs has been maintained at £147.8 million.
The funding will support a range of different transport projects across South London delivered by the boroughs. Local areas will see safer roads, better public spaces, improved walking facilities and cycling made safer and easier, say TfL.
Monies the five boroughs which cover the Crystal Palace area will receive are as follows:
Bromley – £4.9 million including a £1.4 million project to improve Beckenham Town Centre and make it easier and more attractive to get around on foot.
Croydon – £4.8 million including £550,000 towards a high street improvement scheme for London Road, which will improve safety and access for pedestrians while also maintaining and enhancing the vitality of this local shopping street.
Lambeth – £3.9 million including £250,000 towards the major scheme to transform roads in Norwood, which will make walking and cycling a safer, more attractive, more convenient transport option.
Lewisham – £3.4 million including £672,000 to design improvements to Deptford High Street and improve the environment for pedestrians;
Southwark – £4.1 million including £820,000 to improve safety at Camberwell, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians.
London’s transport commissioner Mike Brown said: “People in south London will see real improvements to their local areas as a result of this funding.
“Working with south London boroughs, hundreds of transport projects will be delivered that will benefit pedestrians and road users through safer streets and improved public squares and shopping areas.
“These improvements will help transform communities and boost the local economy.”
In addition to funding for boroughs, TfL say they are working with them to help further improve the efficiency of the delivery of projects, ensuring value for money and keeping disruption to a minimum. (Source: TfL press release)