Transport for London (TfL) has today issued advice for customers considering their travel options.
The Government’s latest guidance makes it clear that everyone should try to reduce their journeys where possible, but those who need to travel can take simple steps to do so safely. Londoners are asked to consider using London’s growing network of safe walking or cycling routes and to use TfL’s travel tools to plan ahead for the quiet times and routes. The Tier 3 restrictions mean that Londoners should avoid travelling outside of the capital unless for education or work purposes where work cannot be done from home.
For those who do need to travel, TfL is running a normal service to help social distancing. TfL is asking customers to plan ahead and travel during the quiet times. These are currently between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays, and before noon and after 18:00 on weekends on public transport. On the roads the quiet times are between 10:00 and 15:00 and after 19:00 on weekdays, and before 10:00 and after 18:00 on weekends.
TfL has also published information about quiet stations and stops at tfl.gov.uk/quiet-times. The information will be updated regularly taking into account any parts of London which become busier.
An enhanced cleaning regime on London’s transport network continues to make the network cleaner than ever. Trains and stations are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing protection. Recent independent testing, carried out by Imperial College London, has found no trace of coronavirus on the Tube and bus network for the third month in a row.
Extensive signage is in place on trains, trams, buses, platforms and stations, reminding those who need to make a journey to socially distance. TfL’s enforcement staff and its police partners are actively enforcing the national requirement for everyone to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while in a station or travelling on public transport, unless they are exempt. The vast majority of customers have been complying with this requirement with compliance at around 90 per cent across the network. The police and TfL’s enforcement officers are working hard to ensure that the minority who are not complying are targeted, and if necessary, refused entry to the network and fined.
Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of coronavirus and, as the Government’s latest rules state, this includes trying to reduce journeys during this period of enhanced restrictions.
“Our staff will be doing everything they can to make sure those needing to travel will still be able to do so safely – by continuing to run a normal service, enforcing the use of face coverings and keeping the network cleaner than ever.
“Please consider walking or cycling, or plan ahead for the quiet times and routes on public transport. Everyone must continue to take the simple steps of good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering and social distancing wherever possible.”
This year has been extremely challenging for businesses and while TfL has supported all of its tenants through the pandemic, local custom is much needed by many. With more than 1,000 retail units at London Underground stations and 800 in railway arches, it is a good opportunity for Londoners to follow the Government’s guidance to reduce journeys while enjoying the benefits of businesses local to them and continuing to take measures to stay safe including keeping a social distance and wearing a face covering, unless exempt
In line with the current Government guidance, Londoners and those travelling across the capital, will still be able to use the network to visit friends and family in their Christmas bubbles between 23 December and 27 December. Services will be running every day, apart from Christmas Day when most public transport services will not operate. Customers are advised to plan ahead and avoid peak times. Roads are likely to be busy throughout the bubble period.
With no fireworks, events or late-night hospitality, TfL’s Tube and Rail services will not run all night on New Year’s Eve. Londoners who do need to use the public transport network are encouraged to complete their journeys as early as possible and before midnight. If you need to travel, the bus network will operate a Saturday service, helping those who need to move around London throughout the night to do so. TfL Tube and Rail services operating will then restart on the morning of New Year’s Day. Londoners travelling on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are encouraged to check before they travel.