Ticket office opening hours at London Overground stations will be cut over the next few weeks, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.

Many offices will now be staffed at peak hours only, though none will be closed entirely, the transport network said yesterday (Tuesday).

TfL and Overground operator Arriva Rail say fewer passengers are buying tickets from staff as contactless cards become more popular.

But RMT union says the cuts are designed to increase company profits.

Last year, Arriva Rail said it would completely close ticket offices at 51 Overground stations – but reversed plans after a backlash from staff and members of the public.

The company has now agreed to keep offices open at the busiest times of day.

But TfL admitted yesterday that some busy Overground stations, such as Hackney Central, Camden Road and Dalston Junction, will see staffed hours reduce.

There will be no change to ticket office opening at many major stations, including Walthamstow Central, Willesden Junction, New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace.

Quieter stations like Honor Oak and Carpenders Park will see ticket office opening cut to morning peak hours and one day at weekends.

And weekend opening will be axed at the least used stations, such as Penge West and Bruce Grove.

All Overground stations will remain staffed throughout their opening hours, and there will be no changes to train timetables.

TfL Overground manager Rory O’Neill said: “The way customers want to pay for their train fares is changing with fewer visiting a ticket office at the start of their journey.

“These planned changes will help ensure the ticket offices are available when customers need them.”

There were one million fewer sales at ticket offices last year compared to 2018. Two per cent of Overground tickets are bought at a manned desk.

But RMT general secretary Mick Cash said any claim that changes were for customer benefit was “disingenuous”.

He said: “However TfL and Arriva Rail London try to dress this up, they are ploughing on with damaging cuts in the face of clear passenger opposition.

“RMT has opposed these cuts from the outset because they will be detrimental to passengers, and in particular disabled and elderly passengers.

“Violence and crime on the railways is soaring – Arriva Rail London and TfL’s decision to decimate ticket office hours and staffing will only serve to make stations less secure and safe”