Transport for London steps up train services to keep passengers safe

London Underground handed 1.6 billion bailout grant
Credit: Transport for London

Transport for London has increased public transport levels to make journeys as safe as possible for people who have to use trains and buses.

However, the advice from TfL and the Mayor of London remains that people should continue to work at home if they can.

The other advice being given is that people who cant work from home should walk or cycle and avoid trains and buses.

If people have no other choice but to use trains and buses, they should wear face masks and avoid peak hours, with the busiest times on the network being between 05:45-08:15 and 16:00-17:30.

Along with busy times, passengers are being urged to avoid busy stations; the top twenty busiest stations can be found by clicking here.

London Underground gets grant to continue trains during coronavirus crisis
Credit: Langton Photography

Transport for London is now operating:

  • 85% of bus services
  • 75% of Tube services
  • The Circle line has resumed
  • 7 of the 37 stations that were closed are now open;
  • 80% of London Overground and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) services
  • 100% of TfL Rail services
  • 95% of London Trams services;
  • 95% of Cycle Hire services
  • 100% of the Emirates Airline
  • A one boat service on the Woolwich Ferry

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Coronavirus poses monumental challenges to our city’s complex public transport network. TfL is working hard to increase services to pre-Covid levels despite staff being ill, shielding or self-isolating. But even when services are running at the highest possible frequency, the need to maintain safe social distancing will dramatically reduce capacity on the Tube to just 13-15 per cent. We are making it safer for people who have no alternative but to use public transport by reopening stations, installing hand sanitiser points, introducing one-way systems and reminding people of the need to stay two metres apart. We are also making sure Londoners know which stations to avoid at what times.

London Underground gets grant to continue trains during coronavirus crisis
Credit: Langton Photography

Sadiq Khan continued “However, I must urge all Londoners to only use public transport as a last resort and to walk or cycle for any essential journeys if you possibly can. You should continue to work from home if you are able to do so. It is crucial that we keep demand for services as low as possible to avoid a second peak that could overwhelm the NHS. I am grateful that the vast majority of Londoners are staying at home – please continue to do so to protect our NHS and save lives.”

Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “We are working hard to restore all services to normal levels as quickly as possible. Today we have stepped up our services on the way to that to help make the journeys of those who must use public transport as safe as possible. But, given the national requirement to maintain 2 metre social distancing, the capacity of the network is hugely constrained. On the Tube for example, we can only carry 13-15 per cent of normal passenger numbers even once services are back to full strength. As the Government and Mayor have advised, we need people to continue working from home and avoiding public transport if they can. People who must travel are strongly urged to walk or cycle wherever possible.

London Underground gets grant to continue trains during coronavirus crisis
Credit: Langton Photography

Mike continued “If you need to use public transport, make sure you wear a face covering and avoid the busiest times. We’ve provided detailed information so that customers can plan and retime their journeys. Customers may need to queue to get into stations so that we can control the number of people and ensure everyone can maintain a safe distance wherever possible. Please be patient with our staff, who are making a heroic effort to support London and those who rely on our services. Everyone is doing the best they can in very difficult circumstances.”

British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable, Sean O’Callaghan said: “Our officers are out and about across the rail network, focusing their time at stations where they are most needed. At some of the busier stations you may see more officers than usual. They’re there to help keep passengers and rail staff safe – helping get people to where they need to be safely. If you don’t need to travel by rail or Tube, then don’t – and if you do need to, give yourself plenty of time. Perhaps speak to your employer and stagger the times you would normally go to and from work and avoid rush hours where possible. We all have a role to play in keeping the rail network safe. Our policing approach remains the same. Our officers will be engaging with passengers and staff and will only use enforcement if absolutely necessary. No-one should underestimate the immense logistical challenge facing the rail industry and its staff as it works to keep people who need to use the network moving. They’re taking extra steps to ensure people stay safe including aiding social distancing and keeping overcrowding to a minimum. These steps mean everyone is going to have to get used to a new way of travelling.”

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