New face mask rules will protect commuters from coronavirus, says Network Rail chief

15 June 2020, 13:37 | Updated: 15 June 2020, 13:39

By Seán Hickey

The chairman of Network Rail told LBC that wearing face masks on public transport is "the decent thing to do."

"We're not setting out to fine people, this is a rule for the protection of yourself and other people" said Sir Peter Hendy, the Chairman of Network Rail and former commissioner of TfL. He joined Nick Ferrari after England's first day of new coronavirus rules, which make wearing face masks on public transport compulsory.

"If it reduces the chance of infection a bit, if it reduces the chance of you infecting somebody else a bit if you happen to have this dreadful virus then it's the decent thing to do.

"I haven't spoken to anybody who isn't trying to look out for themselves and others because this is a pretty horrible thing to get – it might kill you."

Sir Peter's comments came after Nick quizzed him on fining policies on English transport networks, which stand at £100 if a person refuses to comply with the rules.

The Network Rail chair told Nick that he doesn't believe such fines are the goal of the new rules and are in fact an effort to protect the public.

It is now compulsory in England to wear PPE on public transport
It is now compulsory in England to wear PPE on public transport. Picture: PA

Nick began the conversation by asking the former TfL commissioner "should all the drivers as well and should all the rail staff be wearing" PPE while on shift. Sir Peter told him that "railway staff will be wearing them and we think for the first day of the new rule it looks quite good really."

He added that "bus drivers are an exception because they're more or less completely closed off with a perspex screen."

Another part of the experience of commuting that requires an overhaul in new hygiene and social distancing rules is the use of public restrooms. Sir Peter assured Nick that staff in train stations have levelled up their response ensure safe experiences in train station lavatories.

"We're doing our best to make sure you can feel comfortable if you must travel on public transport and actually a good cleaning regime is absolutely part of that" he concluded.

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