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21 November 2013 | Transport | By: Rachel Holdsworth

All Tube Ticket Offices To Close, But Trains To Run 24Hr On Weekends

All Tube Ticket Offices To Close, But Trains To Run 24Hr On Weekends


Transport for London has announced a massive shake-up of the tube. Trains will run 24 hours at weekends, but all manned ticket offices will close with the loss of 750 jobs. The changes will come in for 2015.

The ticket offices news leaked over summer as one idea to plug the hole left by a cut in TfL's central government grant. The increased use of Oyster and automated machines means ticket offices are being used less, and TfL wants to get staff out from behind the glass and into the general station space.

TfL says all stations will continue to be staffed, and we hope they make it clear where we're supposed to find someone to help if the ticket machine breaks / the gates don't read our Oyster / we have one of any number of myriad problems, as at the moment if the ticket office is closed we can often find ourselves standing around stumped. There will be six "customer points" at major tourist entry points (Euston, Heathrow T1, 2, 3, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, Paddington and Victoria) though whether we'll all have to use these to do things like register a new Oyster card, or whether ticket stops will be upgraded to do more, we're not sure. Stations like Bank, Leicester Square and Oxford Circus will get more staff.

The RMT has called the cuts "lethal" and promises industrial action. TfL says there will be no compulsory redundancies and anyone "ready to be flexible" will have a job.

The cuts are being packaged with sweeteners for us, the travelling public. We'll be able to use the Piccadilly, Victoria, Central, Jubilee and parts of the Northern line all Friday and Saturday nights, contactless bank card payment is being rolled out next year, ticket machines will be able to give refunds and (joy of joys!) if you forget to swipe out Oyster will calculate your most likely journey and charge accordingly rather than whack on the maximum fare. All underground stations will get wifi by the end of 2014 and there are plans to make 27 more tube and Overground stations step-free over the next eight years.

Photo by Hartwell Photography from the Londonist Flickr pool

Rachel Holdsworth

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The local, everyday Tube user may be able to handle this change, though for visitors - especially foreigners unfamiliar with the system, the locations and even the English language - this looks to be a massive challenge. Even for a visitor like me, someone who has used the Tube annually over the past 30+ years, it will likely have its WTF moments. But onward we must go...


All night trains is brilliant news. I feel sorry for the people who have lost their jobs though.

Beau Edwards

Bob Crow will once again be showing his lovely face on our TV screens over this, YAY!


As usual, this is not as bad as the RMT wil make out. Move along please

Martin Eriksson

I don't think you understand what 24/7 means...

Caspar Aremi

"whether we’ll all have to use these to do things like register a new Oyster card"

Part of the announcement was phasing out Oyster and instead your contactless bank card will be used. You'll be able to attach travel cards to it. They don't want to deal with charging and holding balances when they don't need to.

"at the moment if the ticket office is closed we can often find ourselves standing around stumped"

I really don't think I've ever seen a ticket barrier without at least one member of staff standing at one end to help people with problems? And under these changes, more staff will be out with customers rather than just having them stuck in ticket booths.


but why not the district line?!


Finally!! I can't believe it took them half a century to figure out that we need the tube at night... specially on weekends...

Ruth S

I hope tube stations don't end up like train stations, no one there to help you and completely confusing!


Now someone needs to get on to Southern and Southeastern and the rest and tell them that us South East Londoners need the overground trains to run all night at the weekends too. Somethig tells me that will be a bit of a tough task though!


I lived in London for 5 years and I remember that most of the ticket office staff were miserable. Wouldn't you be if you had to sit in that cage and deal with the public? So good riddance to them. In NYC we have lost most of the ticket booth staff. I imagine the tourists may miss them but certainly not the locals.

Anthony Denny

Given that my Oyster card has broken 3 times this year with my annual travelcard on it, and I would be completely stuck without being able to go to an office and get it fixed, I'm not sure this is brilliant news, and given that last time I did this all 3 ticket booths at Brixton were being used by people with faulty Oyster cards, I dont think I'm alone.

Andy Brice

In over two decades of living in London. I'm pretty sure I've never actually used a ticket office on the tube.

Andy Brice

I welcome the 24-hour service at weekends. But if they try and pressure staff into working night-shifts reluctantly, for once I'll be fully supportive of any strikes.


What about the fact that some cards aren't accepted if you're putting anything over a certain amount on your Oyster card? I am an American grad student in London, but don't have a UK bank account. Every time I top up my Oyster card, I have to do so at a ticket office. I suppose they will expect people who can't top up on a machine to go to the other locations where cards can be topped up, such as convenience stores. That's all well and good, but the average tourist might not know that that's a possibility. Perhaps that's one of the issues the wandering staff will be able to help with. Though if you don't realize you're out until you try swiping your card, it'll be hugely inconvenient to run out of the station to the nearest convenience store to top up when you can just do it now at a ticket office. I hope it works well. I love the idea that some tubes will run all night on weekends.


Love it, in fact we shouldve had the 24 hour service years ago, but it kept getting delayed. Barcelona's metro had it years ago based on a model initially set out for the tube. Anyways, good news and hopefully will pave the way to a proper 21st century all round the clock tube, which lets be honest, London needs to stay competitive with places like NYC and the far east.

Lisa London

I'm sure those who live close to a tube line (like me) can't wait to be kept awake all night during the weekend... Absolutely stupid idea.


where do we buy oyster cards then? And how soon will these cuts be put in action? I think this will be difficult for the tourist unless staff is very clearly marked at entrances to stations.


Most of the tube lines have at least one flights of stairs before you reach the ticket office so, in terms of safety, you would be safer if someone is on the platform rather than in the office. I went to NY and I didn't see anyone on the transport network. I still managed to by a ticket and travel where I wanted to go. I lived in central London throughout my teenage years and early 20s and would have loved that I could get home on the tube after the clubs close, rather than waiting for the night bus!


Amazing idea! No one need rude staff on the station. The level of customer service is extremely low anyway. All the staff that takes part in tube strikes should get salary deduction. I think they just being selfish, why should all London suffer?