Latest Rail News

11.05.20

TfL announces plan to help London travel safely

Following the Government’s announcement of an outline roadmap for the next period of lockdown, Transport for London today (May 11th) set out its initial plan to support this and help Londoners who need to travel do so safely and sustainably.

This will be supplemented over the coming days following advice on travel to be issued by Government. The plan will require substantial changes to the way in which people travel in London.

TfL has been able to run up to 60% of Tube services during the crisis to support essential journeys.

This is while managing the impact of the virus on the transport workforce with staff ill, shielding or self-isolating.

Whilst working alongside plans on the national rail network, TfL is working to carefully and gradually build up service levels to where they were before the outbreak and will return the number of trains running to as close to 100% as soon as possible.

TfL is working meticulously with staff and the trade unions with the aim of, by May 18th, increasing service levels to at least 70% on the Tube and London Overground (in line with national rail services), 80% on the DLR and a full service on TfL Rail.

London Underground is also hoping 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 for now so that staff can be positioned to help manage any overcrowding at busier stations. Some stations with lift-only access may need to remain closed as social distancing is not possible.

Though, as is the case with national rail services, this does not mean a return to the transport network that existed before the crisis.

The national requirement to maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible means that TfL will only be able to carry around 13-15% of the normal number of passengers on the Tube and bus networks even when 100% of services are operating once again over time.

Even with only 5% of journeys currently being made on the Tube, there are certain times and locations where social distancing is already very problematic. The task in managing social distancing will become greater as, over time, more people who cannot work from home return to using the network.  

The Government is expected to issue detailed guidance shortly that should be followed by businesses, Londoners and others as they consider whether they need to travel and, if so, how.

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