VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS PROBLEMS OF PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES USING THE TUBE / LONDON’S TRAVEL FARES HIGHEST IN THE WORLD
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS PROBLEMS OF PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES USING THE TUBE
A NEW VIDEO which highlights the challenges faced by passengers with disabilities when using the tube has been launched by Lambeth and Southwark GLA member Val Shawcross.
“The video, Unfit for the Future: Losing Staff and Ticket Offices on the Tube, looks at how TfL’s Fit for the Future programme, which will see the loss of almost 900 staff and the closure of all tube ticket offices, will impact on transport accessibility in the capital” said a London Labour party statement.
“In the video serious concerns are raised about the impact of the staff cuts on passengers with disabilities who rely on assistance from staff in order to access the Tube” said a party spokesperson.
“Val Shawcross warned that Boris Johnson’s plan to cut almost 900 tube station staff would be disproportionately felt by many people with disabilities and it was important to ensure their voices were heard.
“The Mayor’s decision to close all 301 London Underground ticket offices, as part of the Fit for the Future programme, will cost taxpayers nearly £134m. “Alongside the ticket office closures, 897 staff are also set to be axed with many stations expected to see significant cuts in their staffing levels.
Accessibility campaign group Transport for All, quoted in a Labour press release on the issue, said: “Whether its advice on planning step-free routes, or guiding partially sighted people to the right platform; ticket machines and CCTV cameras can never replace the assistance offered by 900 trained Tube staff.
“These cuts risk undermining our freedom to travel as older and disabled transport users.”
Val Shawcross, who is Labour London Assembly transport spokeswoman, said: “Boris Johnson’s tube station staff cuts risk making life much harder for people with disabilities to access the tube and all the fantastic benefits it brings.
“It’s important that TfL listens to passengers with disabilities and does something to address the impact brought about by their changes.
“After years of focus on making stations more accessible, these cuts risk becoming a massive step backwards. “Thus far it isn’t at all clear that the Mayor has taken proper account of the impact these changes are having on passengers with accessibility needs.” (Source: GLA Labour party press release).
LONDON’S TRAVEL FARES HIGHEST IN THE WORLD
Commenting on Stephen Greenhalgh’s admission that London’s travel fares are the highest in the world, Labour’s London Assembly Transport spokeswoman Val Shawcross said:
“Finally a senior member of Boris Johnson’s inner circle has admitted that under his mayoralty travel in the capital has become the most expensive in the world.
“Under Boris Johnson fares have increased each and every year with overall fares up over 40 per cent since he came to power.
Whilst Stephen Greenhalgh is right to say the capital’s transport costs are the most expensive in the world, it’s incredibly hypocritical that he says he would bring costs down after serving in Boris’ fare-hiking top team for years.”
In an article on www.conservativehome.com “This is the way in which to deliver cheaper tube and bus fares” Stephen Greenhalgh wrote:
We are now in a position not just to press on with vital investment, but to undertake a series of reforms so we can start cutting fares, not raising them. I want London to have the best public transport in the world. At the moment, however, we also have the most expensive.
Notwithstanding the different pricing models in other cities, the plain fact is that London has higher fares than New York, Paris or Tokyo.
That is why, if I become Mayor of London, I have pledged to cut London’s Travelcard, rail and tube fares by three per cent every year. Ordinary Londoners, particularly those who keep the city running – like nurses, teachers and shift workers — should not have to pay more as they strive to get to work.
This policy means people would pay 55p less each time they get on the tube in Zone 1 and £14 less for a monthly Zone 1-2 Travelcard by the end of my first term.
Compared to current RPI+1 per cent rises, the savings increase to £1.14 and £30 respectively, with a Zone 1-3 commuter saving a total of £905 over the four-year period.
Now, I realise that many people will be sceptical about whether this can be done. They were sceptical when I said I could cut the Metropolitan Police budget by 20 per cent, while increasing officer numbers and cutting crime. As Deputy Mayor, I have done it. And they were sceptical back in 2006, when I said I could cut a London borough’s Council Tax. As leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, I did it five times in six years. I know how to deliver savings while improving services. (Sources: GLA Labour party press release / www.conservativehome.com)