Coronavirus: London Underground packed again on second day of lockdown

25 March 2020, 15:40

London Underground lines were packed again despite the prime minister saying it was possible to "run a better Tube system"
London Underground lines were packed again despite the prime minister saying it was possible to "run a better Tube system". Picture: Twitter/Ajad Miah
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Sadiq Khan has said he may be left with "no choice" but to cut more London Underground services, despite trains being busy again on the second day of London's coronavirus lockdown.

The Mayor of London said "nearly a third" of Transport for London's (TfL) staff were now off sick or self-isolating due to the coronavirus pandemic, and said that this was expected to rise.

He said: "TfL will do everything possible to continue safely running a basic service for key workers including our amazing NHS staff, but if the number of TfL staff off sick of self-isolating continues to rise - as we sadly expect it will - we will have no choice but to reduce services further."

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The comments came as commuters on the Underground accused the government of putting "countless lives at risk" after trains on Wednesday morning were, again, full.

Photos and videos shared across the network showed passengers on the Jubilee and Central lines crowding on station platforms and inside the carriages.

Ajad Miah, who was travelling on the Central Line, said his carriage was filled with "not just builders, but also general workers".

He added: "Reducing train services is risking more lives than saving. Clearly not working!"

Meanwhile, Rebecca Rose, who was travelling on the Jubilee Line, directed her tweet to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and said: "You need to be clear that only key workers are able to travel!

"By allowing construction companies and other businesses to continue as normal puts countless lives at risk."

At present, the only people advised to go to work are those listed under the government's list of key workers.

This includes, NHS staff, emergency workers, and supermarket staff.

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson said London should be able "to run a better Tube system" and should "be able to get more Tubes on the line."

It came after health secretary Matt Hancock said there was "no good reason" for services to have been reduced as they have been.

British Transport Police officers are currently carrying out crowd control measures and are patrolling stations to remind people that only essential travel is permitted.