Statement by Autistic-UK on London Underground Cuts

London Underground has announced that it plans to close all its ticket offices and remove up to 1,000 staff from its stations. The company states that it is consulting on these plans, so we hope it takes notice of our objections.

Autism is a neurological difference, and autistic people may experience difficulties with social and communication issues. Public transport, including London Underground, is essential to allowing autistic children and adults to access services and participate in society, but can be a difficult environment. It can trigger sensory overload and can cause extreme distress when there is unexpected disruption or an emergency. Moreover, we may find automated ticketing systems hard to use and – with only 15% of autistic adults in full-time employment – can not necessarily access online payment methods.

For these reasons, the presence of staffed ticket offices and adequate numbers of staff on stations is essential to enable autistic people’s access to London Underground. The plans announced by LUL will only serve to exclude autistic people and further our social isolation.

We strongly urge London Underground Ltd to rethink.