Tube station dubbed “lower priority”

Station staff moved from Blackhorse Road to Tottenham Hale, resulting in former’s closure

Blackhorse Road Station, Walthamstow

Blackhorse Road Station, Walthamstow

Blackhorse Road is more often closed because it is considered a “lower priority” than other stations on the Victoria Line, Transport for London (TfL) has admitted.

The tube station in Walthamstow was closed on seven occasions in December and twice so far in January, with TfL blaming “staff shortages”.

Tube workers belonging to the RMT and TSSA unions are refusing to work overtime as part of a dispute over ticket office closures and reduced staffing levels, also going on strike over the issue on Monday 9th January. But as commuters headed back to Blackhorse Road on Tuesday morning they were again turned away, even as other stations were open.

Asked by the Echo why Blackhorse Road was affected by sudden closures more than other stations, a TfL spokesperson said: “Tottenham Hale has a higher number of customers than Blackhorse Road and is therefore a priority station. When we have a shortage of staff at Tottenham Hale we will move staff from lower priority stations.”

The explanation is unlikely to satisfy the 14,000 people who use the station each day. Among them is Hannah Barnsdall, who said on Twitter: “I rely on Blackhorse Road and the Victoria Line to get to work. I’ve been let down so many times.”

The industrial dispute is ongoing and while no more strikes are planned, the ban on overtime is continuing.

Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer at London Underground, said: “I apologise to those customers who have been disrupted by short-term unplanned closures at some of our stations. This is mainly due to some union members not booking on for overtime as part of their current industrial action.

“We have always committed to reviewing our new staffing model with the trade unions. Following talks we are recruiting additional staff for stations.”