Following the Government’s decision to introduce national restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Transport for London (TfL) is issuing advice for customers who need to travel.
The Government’s message is that everyone must stay at home unless there is a reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse for leaving home includes travel to work where it cannot be undertaken from home, to shop for necessities, seek medical assistance, visit a support bubble or for education. Public transport can still be used for such journeys. Londoners are also asked to consider using London’s network of safe walking or cycling routes where possible and to use TfL’s travel tools to plan journeys by public transport during the quieter times. These are currently between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays, and before noon and after 18:00 on weekends on public transport.
TfL aims for services across the network to continue to run as close to normal as possible to help social distancing for those who need to travel, but like other businesses it could be affected by the impacts of coronavirus. Currently 10 per cent of operational staff are absent, which includes staff who need to stay at home because they are self-isolating, ill or clinically extremely vulnerable. This could mean that there may need to be some changes to service frequency or some station closures. The latest service information will be available online and through TfL travel tools including the TfL Go app. All customers are advised to check before they travel.
An enhanced cleaning regime on London’s transport network continues to make the network cleaner than ever. Trains, trams, buses and stations are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing protection.
Extensive signage is in place on trains, trams, buses, platforms and stations, reminding those who need to travel to socially distance. TfL’s enforcement officers and the police are actively enforcing the national requirement for everyone to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while in a station or travelling on public transport, unless they are exempt.
Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “As has been the case throughout the pandemic, we will continue to operate safe and reliable transport services for Londoners who need to travel for one of the Government’s legally permitted reasons.
“Our staff and those of our contractors will be doing everything they can to run as close to a normal service as possible and keep the network cleaner than ever. For the protection of everyone, TfL enforcement officers and the police will of course be enforcing the use of face coverings. Please check before you travel on public transport for any alterations to services and for the quiet times to travel and consider walking or cycling wherever possible.”
Photo credit: Transport for London