Scores of commuters, many not wearing any face covering, were seen crowding onto platforms yesterday as the UK begins to emerge from nearly two months of lockdown. Only 60 percent of Transport for London’s (TfL) tube services are in operation. Forty stations remain closed and the entire Circle Line is out of use.
Express.co.uk has contacted TfL for comment on the matter.
The authority has encouraged people to steer clear of public transport “wherever possible” and instead “reimagine” their commute by heading to work on foot or by bike.
The RMT union which represents transport workers has threatened staff walkouts over the working conditions.
Passengers in Canning Town wait to board a train
Many passengers on tube do not wear face coverings
The body said it had “no confidence” in the Government’s plan to ease the lockdown.
The photos taken in London on Tuesday and Wednesday and are in stark contrast to the situation on the Paris Metro and Berlin’s train system.
Parisians were handed free face masks as they arrived at stations and were offered a squirt of hand sanitiser.
Stickers clearly marking where people should and should not sit were placed on train seats.
Commuters head through ticket barriers during rush hour
And maintenance workers were seen cleaning hand rails in carriages which were not overcrowded.
Berlin’s BVG has been running a full service on all busses, tubes and ferries, with only limited restrictions.
Strict rules mean the health and safety of staff and passengers is taken seriously.
Commuters must stay at least 1.5metres apart and cover their faces.
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This week saw millions of workers urged to return to the workplace
A Paris Metro workers hands out free hand sanitiser to commuters
Tickets can only be bought online and the front doors of busses are not in use so as to protect drivers.
Concerned Londoners have taken to social media to hit out at the Prime Minister’s plan to ease England out of lockdown.
One woman warned: “The tubes, trains and buses in London are packed.
“Second wave on its way and Boris will blame the workers.”
UK stages of easing the lockdown
The Prime Minister said people returning to work following nearly two months on lockdown should avoid public transport if possible.
But some Londoners have said the advice is unrealistic given the sheer distance between people’s homes and their places of work.
One person said: “I know plenty who live in west London who need to travel into the City for work. Not a single one drives.
“Tube or Overground are the only ways to get into the City and tube or bus from there.
“Anyone saying otherwise hasn’t drive in London. It’s chaos.”
Commuters rush from one train to another
One woman said when she heads back to work she has very few choices – either commute for one hour on what may be crowded tubes or walk for three hours.
She added: “I’m considering cycling but two hours on a bike each day is going to be exhausting and it is also dangerous.”
Another person said many people who have never lived in the capital may not understand the fact that public transport is almost always essential to get to work if you do not have a car.
She said: “People need to understand that in London to get to places you have to get public transport… lots of people don’t have cars.
“Boris told us we can go to work if we can’t work from home so no wonder lots of people are on busses and on the tube! “