EVERYONE who travels by Tube should be alarmed at the renewed threat to the station ticket offices and should not be surprised by the Mayor of London's very public about-turn. He is a politician, after all.
The fare-paying passenger should, in particular, feel betrayed because it is they who feel the inferior service coming to a station near them if Transport for London's plans are implemented as intended.
Unfortunately, the typical station ticket office and the staff who work behind their little windows do themselves no credit.
I have witnessed the socalled customer service that many allegedly provide at a whole host of stations across the Tube network and it ranges from almost non-existent to a grudging acknowledgement that the staff member is obliged to help.
The TV pictures of a ticket-seller sitting motionless like a shop window dummy that have been used by BBC London whenever this story has made the headlines make my point perfectly.
I am afraid because of their own ineptitude, these ticket sellers are going to follow the dodo and the dinosaurs into the 'dustbin of history' and the service that they should be providing to the travelling public will cease to exist once and for all.
This must be a very bitter pill for the passengers who use North Harrow station.
The staff that work there, and in particular James Bond, are not of the stereotypical image portrayed above.
If ever anyone needed to witness the true value and importance of a station ticket office, then they should observe North Harrow during the weekday morning rush hour.
No wonder that it has been voted the best-run station in the whole of London for two successive years!
No doubt the passengers who travel from North Harrow every day will once again rally behind Mr Bond, a very able campaigner and all-round local hero, and fight tooth and nail to save the ticket office all over again.
But if this battle is to have a successful and lasting outcome, then it is
the colleagues of Mr Bond who 'work' at other stations all over the Tube network who must now 'pull their fingers out', dispense with their work-shy mentality, and become more proactive and willing to do the jobs that they are hired to do in the first place.
YOGINI AMIN North Harrow