Coronavirus in London: TfL say commuters must wear face masks – and warn us not expect public transport to be back to normal any time soon
- Credit: PA
Work from home “wherever possible”, wear a face mask and “do not expect to return to the transport network you were used to before” – that’s the message from Transport for London (TfL) after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an easing of lockdown restrictions for workers in some industries on Sunday evening.
In light of Mr Johnson’s latest announcement, TfL said they face a challenge “far greater than the 2012 Olympic Games” and would need to reduce bus and Tube use by more than 85 per cent.
The transport authority has set out eight pieces of “advice” for Londoners in order to allow adequate social distancing on its services.
These include directions to work from home, to “reimagine” journeys where possible using walking or cycling routes, and to wear “face coverings”.
We are also being told to shop locally and use local leisure services to limit demand on the public transport network, and to follow social distancing advice and measures – including markings on station platforms and at bus stops – to minimise contact with others.
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Drivers are asked to avoid peak travel times if possible, with TfL also urging employers to help staff avoid travel at the busiest times.
TfL is aiming to bring back a full service “as soon as possible”, with a stated aim of running 85 per cent of the pre-pandemic bus service and at least 70 per cent of Tube and Overground services by May 18.
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Some Tube stations will be re-opened, but it is as yet unclear which ones they will be.
As part of the Mayor of London’s StreetSpace scheme, a number of roads – including Camden’s Euston Road where a cycle lane has been installed – have been altered to increase the city’s cycling and walking capacity.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “We will all have to continue playing our part in reducing demand on services by working from home if we possibly can. Please avoid public transport wherever possible. I urge all Londoners to rethink the way they travel. Please avoid peak times, wear a non-medical covering over your nose and mouth and carry a hand sanitizer.
“By rapidly rolling out more space for walking and cycling through our London Streetspace plan we are enabling many more journeys to be made through these sustainable means which is crucial to our city’s recovery.”
Detailed information about travelling and staying safe will be regularly updated on the TfL website at tfl.gov.uk.