TfL issues advice and reassurance as restrictions ease in London
TfL is urging passengers to cooperate with the social distancing measures put in place as London’s shops and businesses begin to open up again.
With further lifting of lockdown restrictions by Government coming into effect today (12 April), including reopening of non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality, Transport for London (TfL) is issuing information for passengers who will be returning to the transport network.
TfL says it continues to run near-normal levels of service across the public transport network as it has done since July 2020, with a wide range of active travel options are available, including Santander Cycles and protected cycling and walking routes, especially in central London and the West End.
TfL have undertaken an enhanced cleaning regime of its trains, trams, and buses which it claims has made the network cleaner than ever.
Independent testing by Imperial College London has been carried out monthly since September, taking swabs of touch points in stations, buses and air samples in ticket halls and has found no traces of coronavirus on the transport network.
Customers who have not travelled recently will see a number of changes to the network. TfL says extensive signage is in place on trains, trams, buses, platforms and stations, reminding those who need to travel to socially distance. More than 1,000 hand sanitisers have been installed across the network, and 200 UV light devices are continually sanitising escalator handrails.
With more people across London returning to work in sectors that reopen on Monday 12 April following the Government’s further relaxation of lockdown, TfL is continuing this work – asking employers to stagger shift times and asking customers to travel at the quieter times during the day when there is available spare capacity to help customers maintain social distancing.
“With Government restrictions continuing to ease, more people are going to be returning to the transport network to travel around London and enjoy the shopping and leisure activities that are reopening,” said Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner.
“We are ready and looking forward to welcoming customers both back to our network, which is operating at near-normal levels of frequency, as well as supporting those who are walking and cycling – including Santander Cycles – particularly to complete journeys in central London and the West End.
“We’re ensuring public transport is cleaner than ever, and our staff across London are ready to assist and to help keep everyone safe. Public transport is well-ventilated and our frequent public transport services will minimise the instances when social distancing is not possible. I would urge people to try to travel when there is more spare capacity – between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays and before noon and after 18:00 on weekends - and to check before they travel as there may be some service changes at short notice if we deal with any staff absences.
“I would also ask customers to help us. Please be patient and wait for the next service, if necessary, to maintain social distancing. Do not assume that photographs showing crowded services are typical of the network – there is plenty of spare capacity available so long as we all work together to spread journeys across the day,” he said.