An independent Barnet councillor has attacked London Underground staff for causing commuters “48 hours of hell" after they walked out in a row over plans to cut jobs and close ticket offices.
Councillor Brian Coleman has condemned members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) for taking strike action over the proposed plans which could see 950 jobs being cut.
Speaking on today’s Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio Two, Cllr Coleman refuted RMT union leader Bob Crow’s claims that ticket offices play a vital role at London Underground stations.
Mr Crow said: “You need a ticket office because at this moment in time people can’t get all their tickets from Oyster cards.
"The risk assessment that London Underground did when they said they wanted to do away with these 1,000 jobs made it quite clear that if you was disabled it would be a lot harder to get a ticket and to get around the system because they would want directions, and secondly if you were partially sighted or can’t speak English as good as other people it becomes hard as well.”
But Cllr Coleman made the point that older people and those with disabilities do not need a ticket because they can use a freedom pass.
Cllr Coleman added: “Is this really a reason why Londoners and many other commuters have got to suffer 48 hours of hell and why London businesses have got to suffer a fall in takings for a silly row over modern progress?”
He went on to say the next step should be to get rid of drivers on the Tube.
Cllr Coleman told the Times Series he was speaking out on behalf of “all those thousands of people who were stranded” in Barnet this morning.
Tube staff walked out at 9pm yesterday, and will continue their strike action tomorrow.