Sadiq Khan is "worried" about children returning to school during rush hour, he tells LBC

4 May 2020, 15:22

By Fiona Jones

In the wake of schools potentially opening in under four weeks, Sadiq Khan tells LBC about his concerns for children in London.

Primary schools could reopen on June 1 as part of Boris Johnson’s roadmap for reopening the UK, according to reports.

Sadiq Khan said, "I think what's really important is the government...makes sure that schools are safe places for the children, the staff, but also the journey to and from school is safe.

"What we don't want is children and their parents and carers using public transport during rush hour, leading to social interaction leading to the virus spreading."

The London Mayor said he supports the idea of children returning to school in phases, which is what the government has considering doing, and the government have been talking to the Department of Education to determine which age group should go back first.

Shelagh pointed out that huge numbers of children in the capital use public transport to get to school and asked how safety can be ensured.

He told Shelagh that this is his biggest concern, "If there's any increase at all in passenger numbers that's a big problem for us... on a normal day before Covid, there are 1.5 million bus journeys from children and 200,000 tube journeys from children.

"Any increase, even six or ten, is a challenge for us and we are worried.

"One of the things we're saying to the government is if you're keen to bring back schools, one way to do it is to stagger the start time...why not start schools a bit later to avoid the rush hour and finish a bit later to avoid the rusher hour as well? That deals with my concern about congestion public transport leading to the virus spreading again."