Plans to cut up to 600 Tube station jobs amid TfL 'funding crisis'

The London Underground

TfL has proposed reducing the number of station staff across the London Underground network by 500 to 600 to cut costs. - Credit: PA

Transport for London (TfL) plans to axe up to 600 Tube station staff positions to save money following the “devastating impact” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

TfL says it aims to reduce roles by not filling existing vacancies and “controlling future recruitment”, with no planned redundancies. 

Under the proposals, around 250 customer services roles that are currently vacant would not be filled and a further 250-350 staff wouldn’t be replaced when they retired or changed jobs.

This would reduce posts by 500-600 compared to pre-pandemic staff levels – but TfL says the exact number depends on discussions with staff and trade unions, which are at an early stage.

TfL says there would still be around 4,500 station staff across the Tube network.

London Underground director of customer operations Nick Dent said: “The devastating impact of the pandemic on our finances has made a programme of change urgently necessary.

“We have been engaging with our trade unions and our staff to seek their views on how we can make London Underground (LU) more efficient and financially sustainable, while continuing to deliver the highest standards of safety, reliability and customer service.”

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As part of the most recent funding agreement between TfL and the government, TfL is required to work towards achieving financial sustainability by April 2023.

Tfl says this means speeding up its pre-pandemic savings programme, with an overall target for recurring savings of around £500m for LU.

Mr Dent said: “We remain completely committed to retaining our customer service offer, with stations staffed at all times while trains are operating.

“Changes will be closely monitored to ensure that the highest levels of safety and customer service continue to be met."

The proposals arrive after members of London transport union RMT staged a series of weekend strikes in a dispute over Night Tube service rotas.

In response to today's news, the union announced that it will ballot all of its 10,000-plus London transport members for strike action. 

Beyond today's revelations, RMT claims TfL has refused to give assurances on pensions and working conditions amid an ongoing "financial crisis" the union feels has been caused by central government.

The vote will open next Monday before closing on January 10.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Today we have seen the opening salvo in what will become an all out assault on safety critical staff posts."