The Tube ticket office at St Pancras, one of many Mayor of London Boris Johnson wants to close 

A conference is being staged in July to discuss the future of the London Underground. It is organised by the trade union which represents most of the workers on the Tube.

The RMT union said it has taken action “to fill the void left by the Mayor of London and Transport for London over a genuine and meaningful consultation with service users and providers on the future of London Underground against a background of austerity cuts and surging public demand”.

RMT says the Tube carries as many passengers as the National Rail rail network and is vital to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of London. It also has national importance.

RMT recognises that a massive increase in passenger numbers will occur as London grows over the coming decade.

Despite this, Mayor Boris Johnson wants to close ticket offices, introduce driverless trains, and cut maintenance while increasing fares.

RMT says the future of a safe, accessible, affordable, properly staffed Tube is in the balance. Some even advocate the privatisation of Tube services, ignoring the “poisonous legacy of the PPP disaster”.

The union accuses the Mayor of not having a public consultation on his cuts plan because two thirds of passengers are opposed to the cuts. Both the Greater London Assembly and MPs are calling for a formal public consultation.

The conference, entitled “Listen to London”, will be an opportunity to seek the views of a wide range of organisations as to how to find a better way for a properly staffed, expanding and publicly owned London Underground.

In a poll of a thousand Londoners by the independent Survation, only one in four Londoners thought that the Mayor’s proposals are likely to improve passenger service, while half said the proposals are likely to worsen them.

The poll supports the growing call for the Mayor to halt the ticket office closures and hold a public consultation.

RMT Acting General Secretary Mick Cash said: “With the Mayor failing to consult, RMT has decided to step in with a conference open to all, in central London on 26 July 2014. This is a chance for all those concerned with the future of London Underground to make their voices heard."

Information from RMT