London Mayor Sadiq Khan has asked Londoners to rethink the way they travel and urged them to wear masks when using public transport.
Transport for London (TfL) has flagged up significant changes to the way people travel in London in a plan to help Londoners who need to travel do so safely and sustainably.
TfL has been able to operate up to 60 per cent of Tube services and more than 80 per cent of bus services during the crisis to support essential journeys. This is while managing the impact of the virus on the transport workforce with staff ill, shielding or self-isolating.
However, as is the case with national rail services, this does not mean a return to the transport network that existed before the crisis.
The national requirement to maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible means that TfL will only be able to carry around 13-15 per cent of the normal number of passengers on the Tube and bus networks even when 100 per cent of services are operating once again over time.
Everyone is asked to consider if their journey is necessary before travelling, and to think about the times, routes and ways they travel so that everyone has more space to stay safe. This will ensure the transport network can keep running safely for those who have no alternative means of making their journey.
TfL set out the following advice for Londoners:
- If you can work from home, please continue to do so. Please avoid public transport wherever possible. Social distancing on public transport will not be possible unless we radically reduce the overall number of people travelling to work
- If you need to travel, please reimagine how you do so. Walk and cycle if you can. New walking and cycling space is being created through the London Streetspace programme to further support this
- Please shop locally and use local leisure facilities to help keep demand on roads, buses and tubes down
- If using public transport, or taxi and private hire services, please travel outside of peak times and use a facial covering, carry a hand sanitizer and wash your hands before and after you travel. Face coverings are particularly important where 2m social distancing is hard to maintain
- If you have to drive, please avoid peak times and obey speed limits and traffic laws at all times.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “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.
'I am pleased that all TfL frontline staff will be offered basic face masks. Along with the introduction of hand sanitizer points in the coming weeks, these additional measures will further protect our heroic staff and passengers at this critical period.'
Mike Brown MVO, London's Transport Commissioner, said: “Every person, business, school, college and other institution in London has a vital role to play in this next period to keep everyone safe. We are also asking London to reimagine the way in which they travel, walking and cycling where possible and using the new dedicated facilities for this being created across London.
Detailed information about travelling and staying safe will be regularly updated on the TfL website at tfl.gov.uk reflecting Government guidance.