Boris Johnson Is Closing All Underground Ticket Offices. Last Year He Boasted About Keeping Them Open

The Mayor of London finds that manifesto commitments come back to haunt you. Who’s going to top his Oyster now?

1. Boris Johnson has announced plans to close all London Underground ticket offices.

Lam Yik Fei / Getty Images

The Mayor of London has said he will shut all 268 Underground ticket offices. Most of the existing 5,500 ticket staff will be redeployed elsewhere. But 950 will lose their jobs.

2. Which is a bit awkward, since Boris pledged to oppose any closures in his 2008 manifesto.

Labour’s Ken Livingstone had recognised that reduced customer demand meant there was less need for ticket offices.

Johnson, as Conservative candidate, opposed this decision.

3. Only last year Johnson was boasting that he had kept his promise to stop ticket office closures.

But as MayorWatch points out he actually slashed ticket office hours at some outer London stations during that period.

4. Now he’s closing them all and the unions are preparing for battle.

Politicians should be careful what they promise. It took Boris five years to come around to Ken’s view that ticket offices just aren’t that necessary when people are using new forms of payment.

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Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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