On the Saturday that Oxford Street was pedestrianised for Christmas shoppers - one of the busiest days of the year - there were only two CSAs working at Tottenham Court Road between 5am and 5pm! This made for a very stressful day for the staff on duty. Problem: the station is staffed to the bare bones at weekends. The ‘business needs’ are more bothered about transporting commuters to the city Monday–Friday and don’t show that a station like TCR is just as busy at weekends.
At this time of year, sickness is inevitable. But with staffing levels like this, there is no room for manoeuvre and sickness becomes a crisis. And the SRT were nowhere to be seen. Not that the SRT should be substituting for regular staff, but you’d think that pedestrianising Oxford Street would be exactly the ‘special event’ they exist to cover. But the reasons for the SRT’s appearance at stations is not always obvious.