On Tuesday 6 May, a photo-call and demonstration backed by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) against the threats to accessibility on London Underground was held outside Brixton tube station.
The demonstration was well attended by campaigners from DPAC, as well as RMT reps and student activists. There were also strong words of support on the day from members of the public.
In the proposals to cut almost 1000 jobs, Transport for London claim that back office staff will be brought forward and made ‘more visible’. But the RMT warns that this means that stations will run on skeleton staffing levels. This will make locating staff much more difficult when passengers require assistance. Disabled passengers have spoken out about the plans to cut staffing levels, which you can read more about here.
On the day, upon arriving at Brixton tube station in time for the demonstration the step-free access had gone down for several hours due to a technical fault. It’s situations such as this where staff numbers are particularly crucial, so they can both support passengers unable to access the necessary assistance, and also deal with the technical faults at hand. If there are less station staff, the rapidity of dealing with technical faults will be jeopardised, putting disabled passengers and other passengers in need of assistance in worrying situations, and creating further stress for workers themselves as they are forced to deal with critical situations with minimum levels of staff.
HOLT supports actions such as this, and we hope that there will be further action and demonstrations over next two weeks whilst the station by station review is taking place – if you are planning anything, please let us know.