Transport Secretary 'welcomes' TfL plans to continue mask wearing after July 19

14 July 2021, 09:08

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps backed the Mayor's plans for maks
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps backed the Mayor's plans for maks. Picture: LBC/PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has backed the decision by Transport for London to require passengers to carry on wearing masks.

Mr Shapps told LBC's Nick Ferrari that the decision was in line with what ministers expected after it was announced that most lockdown restrictions in England would end from Monday.

Nick Ferrari asked if London's Mayor was "right to ensure the compulsory wearing of masks from Monday."

Read more: London to keep face masks compulsory on public transport after Sadiq Khan intervention

Mr Shapps said the government "welcomed and anticipated" certain transport providers setting conditions of carriage which could require commuters to wear masks.

Nick asked the minister why it wasn't the government making the decision, to which the reply was that this could lead to commuters sitting alone in long distance trains could be required to wear a mask.

The Transport Secretary highlighted when Boris Johnson was London's Mayor he introduced a condition of carriage banning the drinking of alcohol on the Tube.

The conversation comes after Sadiq Khan asked Transport for London (TfL) to enforce the use of mask wearing on buses and trains as a "condition of carriage", even after legal restrictions have been lifted on July 19.

Under the terms of use, enforcement officers would be able to deny access or eject passengers found to be non-compliant while using the transport network.

On Wednesday morning, Mr Khan said: "Because we don't have national backing, we're going to make it a condition of carriage. This is an imperfect solution. We are working on passing a bylaw to make it a law too."

Conditions of carriage are contractual conditions between passengers and TfL, which include not consuming alcohol.

The requirement would mean passengers on all TfL services, which includes the tube, bus, tram, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Overground and TfL Rail, would need to continue to wear a face covering in stations and for the duration of their journey unless they are exempt.