'There could be fines to come' over non mask wearing on Tube TfL Commissioner warns

11 August 2021, 09:09 | Updated: 11 August 2021, 09:18

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

London's transport commissioner Andy Byford tells LBC making it a criminal offence to wear a face covering on buses and tubes would make it easier to enforce.

Speaking exclusively to LBC's Nick Ferrari TfL Commissioner Andy Byford was asked if the Mayor of London was right when he said not wearing a face mask on the Tube should be a criminal offence.

The Mayor wants to change that and has urged the Government to allow TfL to introduce a new bye-law requiring face coverings to be worn on the capital’s public transport network.

Mr Byford told LBC it would "make it easier" to enforce the rules and that "most people" were in favour of keeping the measure in place.

Since the lockdown rules were eased on July 19, the requirement to wear a mask on the Tube has only been a "condition of carriage" rather than a legal requirement.

He said currently TfL were using the conditions of carriage, but there was "one big flaw" that it was "not backed by fines and the police can't intervene."

"The Mayor's right to look at options" but at the moment around 85% of people were complying with the requirement to wear a mask.

This means TfL’s 400 enforcement officers can prevent passengers from boarding or can ask them to leave a bus, Tube or Overground train – but they have no power to impose fines.