Tickety Boo?

As the RMT gears up for industrial action, Boris Johnson speaks of modernising and improving London Underground, stating that “fewer than 3% of tube journeys start at a ticket office” as justification for their closure. That is undoubtedly true, of course, since the vast majority of journeys in the capital are undertaken by commuters, who are in possession of a season ticket or an Oyster card; but it’s also worth remembering that a significant number of the people travelling in London are tourists (it’s a bit of a draw for tourists, is London, as Boris so often takes pride in telling us) and a great deal of the appeal of our capital city is its overwhelming sense of history, tradition and service – old-fashioned service like interacting with dedicated and knowledgeable staff, rather than merely dealing with machines which can neither help nor advise and most certainly do not care.

The thing to remember is that our underground network is the oldest in the world and so, as well as striving to continually modernise and improve it, we have an obligation to preserve the living history that it represents. As the Mayor of London, Boris was re-elected partly on the back of a pledge not to close ticket offices and, whilst betraying pre-election pledges seems to be de rigeur of late, if Mr Johnson does indeed harbour ambitions for higher office then he might want to hold back a little longer before revealing his full potential for duplicity.

As an aside, isn’t it interesting how “modernising” always seems to mean cutting rather than improving? Before our NHS was modernised, you might recall, there were nurses and beds…


About Fles

Early middle-aged (oh yes I am!), no longer long-haired but still speccy and decidedly still an increasingly opinionated git. I’m basically a believer in individualism, that everybody has their own perspective and inner-beauty. I try to find humour in every situation. I enjoy reading and writing poetry.
This entry was posted in Austerity, Business, Employment, Politics, Public Service and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tickety Boo?

  1. Bridget says:

    I was last in London in August 2013, and suspect that without ticket offices I would still be there now.

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