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Following yesterdays Government roadmap on how Britain will restart after lockdown, Transport for London has today set out its plan to support Londoners who need to travel.
This, says TfL, will require significant changes to the way people travel in London.
Transport for London has been able to operate 60% of its tube services and more than 80% of bus services during the crisis,
Alongside plans on the national rail network, Transport for London is working to gradually increase the levels of service to where they were before the pandemic, and return the number of trains and buses to as close to 100% as possible.
Transport for London is working closely with unions and staff to, by the 18th May 2020, increase service levels to 85%, and at least 70% on the Tube and London Overground (in line with national rail train service levels). The Docklands Light Railway will return to 80%, and a full service should operate on TfL Rail.
London Underground is working to restore the Circle Line, and re-open some of the stations that have been closed. However, some of the stations will stay closed so that staff can manage congestion at other stations.
Some stations with lift-only access may also need to remain closed as social distancing is not possible.
However, this does not mean a return to the transport network that existed prior to the coronavirus crisis.
The requirement of 2m social distancing where possible means that Transport for London will only be able to carry 13-15% of its normal passenger capacity on the Tube, even if 100% of its services are running.
With people still being asked to stay at home as much as possible, including working from home if possible, passengers are being asked to consider if their journey is necessary.
Credit: Bradley Langton
TfL has today set out the following advice for Londoners:
Transport for London is introducing more measures; hand sanitizer points will start to be introduced over the coming weeks, with points being installed at every Tube and TfL Rail station. Points will also be introduced in all bus stations, and the Victoria Coach Station, and at TfL River Piers, Woolwich Ferry, Emirates Air Line and at all London Overground and DLR stations where it is safe to do so.
Credit: Transport for London
The thorough cleaning programme for buses, trains and stations will continue.
All taxi companies are being asked to put measures in place, including making sure that face masks are being worn by drivers.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said “Coronavirus has had a profound impact on public transport in London and will continue to do so long into the future. All public transport providers face huge challenges around social distancing – with the number of passengers TfL can safely accommodate on Tubes and buses reduced by over 85 per cent.
Sadiq continued “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. I am pleased that all TfL frontline staff will be offered basic face masks from today. 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 “We need the help of all Londoners in this next period. Like everyone else, we want to see London and the country back moving and working again, safely and sustainably as soon as possible. However, we will not be returning to the transport network that existed before the virus. As the government has set out, the advice is that people should – for now – continue to work from home where they can and avoid public transport wherever possible.
The Transport Commissioner continued to say “Our intention is to progressively build up service levels to as close to pre-pandemic levels as possible, but it is clear life simply won’t be swiftly returning to what it was before. The travel demand challenge facing us outstrips that faced during the 2012 games due to the national requirement to maintain 2 metres distance between passengers wherever possible. That may not always be possible of course given the design of London’s transport network. So 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. Please use facial coverings for any travel on public transport or if using taxi and private hire services. We are providing them to our staff as well and will be installing hand sanitizer across the transport network. The Mayor’s Streetspace programme will also support greater walking and cycling whilst enabling social distancing on streets.”
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This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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