TfL shares travel advice ahead of lockdown relaxations

3 July 2020, 09:45 | Updated: 3 July 2020, 10:25

Transport for London has issued guidance for people using public transport
Transport for London has issued guidance for people using public transport. Picture: PA

Transport for London (TfL) has set out travel advice for people using public transport ahead of a relaxation of lockdown rules this weekend.

Public transport use is expected to go up across the country as more businesses and venues reopen from 4 July.

Ahead of the reopenings, dubbed "super Saturday", TfL has reminded customers what to expect if they are starting to travel again for the first tie since lockdown.

In a statement, TfL said: "Even with recent changes to social distancing guidelines, the number of people that London’s transport network can safely carry continues to be significantly constrained."

TfL has also reminded customers that all staff should be treated with respect and compassion, and to understand that some people are unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons that may not be immediately obvious.

They also clarified that transport staff are not required to wear a face covering when they are not in public areas, and this includes Tube and bus drivers when they are in the driver's cab and staff working in maintenance areas.

Face coverings are now compulsory on TfL transport
Face coverings are now compulsory on TfL transport. Picture: PA

TfL's guidance says that...

- Londoners who can work from home should continue to do so to enable safe journeys for those who must travel

- Those need to travel to work and can walk or cycle should do so wherever possible

- People should shop locally to relieve pressure on the public transport and road network

- People who must use public transport should avoid the peak travel times wherever possible (05:45–08:15 and 16:00–17:30)

- People must wear a face covering for their entire journey unless they are exempt

- People making journeys are urged to take the most direct route and avoid busy interchanges and anyone travelling central London mainline station is asked to walk or cycle for as much of their journey as possible

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Picture: PA

Sadiq Khan told LBC it was Boris Johnson's decision to both reintroduce the congestion charge and widen the scope and level of charges.

Speaking to Jame O'Brien, the Mayor of London said: "We have had to do this as a condition of receiving the TfL grant from the government."

He also said he is encouraging people to walk and cycle "because London does not want a car-led recovery."

"This would lead to the streets in our city coming to a gridlock, and we need to use this awful virus as an opportunity to encourage people to walk and cycle.

"We have introduced more segregated cycle lanes to try and combat this. We will take some space used by vehicles and the good news is we've seen over the recent weeks record numbers of new cyclists travelling to work or shops using their bike."

Social distancing is in place for London transport
Social distancing is in place for London transport. Picture: PA

In a statement, TfL said: "Customers will experience a different transport network to the one they were used to before the pandemic, with services continuing to operate differently to enable safe journeys and social distancing.

"New signage, posters and platform stickers have been installed across the network, helping everyone to maintain social distancing.

"One-way systems and queuing arrangements will be in use wherever needed and hundreds of hand sanitising points have been installed across the TfL network for everyone to use.

"Everyone should wash or sanitise their hands at the beginning and at the end of their journey and carry hand sanitiser with them if they can."

TfL also clarified that some customers are exempt from wearing face coverings - this includes people who have trouble breathing, children under the age of eleven and anyone who finds it difficult to manage them correctly.

TfL has introduced an exemption card that customers can print off and carry with them or display on their phone if this applies to them, which they can show if they are asked why they aren’t wearing one.

Face coverings should also be worn by everyone in taxi and private hire vehicles for the duration of their journey.

Mike Brown MVO, London's Transport Commissioner, said: “Even with the recent changes to social distancing guidelines, the number of people we can safely carry on the transport network will still be limited.

'As the Government guidelines have set out, people should continue to work from home if they can, shop locally and avoid public transport where possible to create space for those who need to use it.

"Please consider walking or cycling all or part of your journey if you can.

“Some customers may be returning to the network for the first time since the pandemic and I ask them to please help keep things safe by avoiding the peak times, wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth for your entire journey, and acting on the instructions of our staff who are there to help.

"With everyone’s cooperation we can keep the network safe for everyone.”