TfL lays out plan to help ease London out of lockdown
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Posted: 11 May 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
In keeping with plans on the national rail network, TfL has stated that it is working to safely and gradually build up service levels to where they were before the pandemic and will return the number of buses and trains running to as close to 100 per cent as soon as possible.
Following the UK government’s announcement of an outline roadmap for the next period of the lockdown, Transport for London (TfL) has set out its initial plan to support this and help those who need to travel in London do so safely and sustainably.
So far, 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.
TfL is working with staff and the trade unions with the intention of, by 18 May, increasing service levels to around 85 per cent on the bus network, at least 70 per cent on the Tube and London Overground (in line with national rail services), 80 per cent on the DLR and a full service on TfL Rail.
London Underground is aiming to restore the Circle Line and to re-open some of the 37 stations that have been closed for several weeks. However, some stations will stay closed so that staff can be deployed to help manage any congestion at busier stations. Some stations with lift-only access may need to remain closed as social distancing is not possible.
The national requirement to maintain two metres 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.
Reflecting the national messages, 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
- Do not expect to return to the transport network you were used to before. The number of people TfL can safely transport on buses and trains is severely constrained to enable social distancing
- If you need to travel, please reimagine how you do so. Walk and cycle if you can
- 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. The latest government advice is that, although face coverings are unlikely to prevent you from getting the virus, they could help prevent you from giving it to others
- Advice on maintaining social distancing will be given across the transport network and further measures to prevent crowding through new queuing systems will be in operation. This includes new social-distancing posters on display at bus stops, stations and in shelters, and two-metre floor markings on platforms at stations. Please respect each other’s space and try to maintain social distancing wherever possible
- Our hardworking staff are there to help: please act on their instructions and respect them at all times
- If you have to drive, please avoid peak times and obey speed limits and traffic laws at all times.
TfL is also introducing a range of further measures. Hand sanitiser points will start to be introduced across the transport network over the coming weeks, with points to be installed at every Tube and TfL rail station. They will also be installed in all bus stations and the Victoria Coach Station, and at TfL River Piers, the Woolwich Ferry, Emirates Air Line and at all London Overground and DLR stations where it is safe and secure to do so. The increased cleaning regime for buses, trains and stations will continue.
All taxi and private hire companies and drivers are being asked by TfL to put protective measures in place including ensuring face coverings are worn by drivers.
COVID-19, Fleet Management & Maintenance, Infrastructure & Urban Planning, Passenger Accessibility, Passenger Experience, Public Transport, Staff & Skills Development, Vehicle & Passenger Safety, Workforce Inclusivity
Transport for London (TfL)