Commuters not wearing masks pack on to crowded Tube trains despite mayor vowing services are at 75%

Commuters not wearing face masks have again packed on to crowded Tube trains despite Sadiq Khan vowing services are running at 75 per cent capacity.

Huge numbers of travellers struggled to abide by social distancing rules on the Jubilee Line and at Canning Town, with many not wearing masks for protection.

The Mayor claimed the services are running at 75 per cent but unions rubbished this, warning it was just 50 per cent.

In a move that will force more passengers on to the cramped public transport system, London’s congestion charge was reimposed on Monday – two weeks early.

Data from this morning already shows road traffic in the capital down by four per cent on last week – before the charge was brought back.

It comes as Mr Khan launched an investigation into the deaths of 33 Transport For London staff including 29 bus drivers from coronavirus.

The study will see TfL work with University College London to ‘better understand the pattern of coronavirus infections and deaths among London’s bus workers’. 

The Mayor again failed to prevent overcrowding for commuters on the Tube (pictured, Canning Town), with people packed together during the morning rush hour today

Huge numbers of travellers struggled to abide by social distancing rules on the Jubilee Line (pictured) and at Canning Town, with many not wearing masks for protection

Huge numbers of travellers struggled to abide by social distancing rules on the Jubilee Line (pictured) and at Canning Town, with many not wearing masks for protection

Mr Khan (pictured on GMB this morning) said the study will see TfL work with UCL to 'better understand the pattern of coronavirus infections and deaths among London's bus workers'

Mr Khan (pictured on GMB this morning) said the study will see TfL work with UCL to ‘better understand the pattern of coronavirus infections and deaths among London’s bus workers’

Mr Khan said the two-part study would ensure every possible measure was taken to protect ‘our heroic staff’.

‘As the son of a bus driver, this is deeply personal to me,’ he added.

TfL said the study was commissioned after the ‘tragic deaths’ of 33 staff including 29 bus drivers.

The first part, due to take place in coming weeks, will review measures including cleaning and social distancing put in place by TfL during the pandemic to restrict Covid-19’s spread.

The second part, which will be run over four months, will consider whether frontline transport workers are at greater risk of infection and death than the rest of London.

The Mayor claims services (pictured at Canning Town) are running at 75 per cent but unions rubbished this, warning it was more like 50 per cent

The Mayor claims services (pictured at Canning Town) are running at 75 per cent but unions rubbished this, warning it was more like 50 per cent

Commuters crammed on to the platform at Canning Town Underground station in east London this morning

Commuters crammed on to the platform at Canning Town Underground station in east London this morning

In a move that will force more passengers on to the cramped public transport system (pictured at Canning Town), London's congestion charge has been reimposed

In a move that will force more passengers on to the cramped public transport system (pictured at Canning Town), London’s congestion charge has been reimposed

Mr Khan was grilled on the probe by Piers Morgan on GMB this morning, who said people working on public transport were operating in a ‘lethal death trap’.

The Mayor said: ‘I’ve asked TFL to get independent, world leading experts to review all the stuff we’ve done because I want to know in real time whether we’ve done the right things, whether there’s more we should have done and if there’s more we can do.’

But Mr Morgan fired back: ‘No one’s keeping two metres away, if you go on a tube they are not, you’re saying that’s happening and you’re saying it’s safe, but it’s not happening and it’s not safe.’

He added: ‘In relation to people that work on public transport it’s become a lethal death trap.’

Mr Khan claimed his team have made sure London has been ahead of the curve nationally and said safety measures on public transport are ‘over and above the measures across our country and other parts of the world’.

Mr Khan was grilled on the probe by Piers Morgan on GMB this morning (pictured), who said people working on public transport were operating in a 'lethal death trap'

Mr Khan was grilled on the probe by Piers Morgan on GMB this morning (pictured), who said people working on public transport were operating in a ‘lethal death trap’

TfL claimed during peak hours this week it has run over 75 per cent of Tube services on average across the whole network. But MailOnline understands train drivers told ASLEF, which represents most Tube drivers, TfL is still running a reduced timetable (pictured at Canning Town today)

TfL claimed during peak hours this week it has run over 75 per cent of Tube services on average across the whole network. But MailOnline understands train drivers told ASLEF, which represents most Tube drivers, TfL is still running a reduced timetable (pictured at Canning Town today)

Mr Morgan questioned why so many TFL workers have died, with the Mayor replying: ‘It’s heartbreaking, to reassure myself and Londoners that’s why this independent work’s been commissioned, a report within the next two or three weeks to make sure any changes can be made, it’s really important we don’t wait.’

He added: ‘One of the things we’ll look in to is whether there’s a link with the occupation and some of the measures we’ve taken but also whether there are non occupation hazards.

‘For example the economic status their age, gender, ethnicity, housing conditions. Whatever they recommend we’ll implement that.’

Social media users were quick to pile into the debate, with many criticising the London Mayor over his handling of the capital’s public transport.

One tweeted: ‘Shut the tubes down. No buses that have front doors. Reduce services, even if we have to walk a bit to the stop.

‘Maybe no buses. Furlough. PPE. No congestion charge. And insist people stay at home. Lives are more important than money FFS. Stay at home. It’s not rocket science.’

A major train drivers’ union yesterday slammed claims the Tube was running at 75 per cent capacity, insisting it was just 50 per cent.

TfL claimed during peak hours this week it has run over 75 per cent of Tube services on average across the whole network.

But MailOnline understands train drivers told ASLEF, which represents most Tube drivers, TfL is still running a reduced timetable.

People trying to get to work queue up along the platform at Canning Town this morning, many not wearing masks

A woman wears a mask as she readies to board a Tube at Canning Town Underground in London

A woman wears a mask as she readies to board a Tube at Canning Town Underground in London

Fears around going on public transport during the current pandemic have been laid bare in a new survey.

Four out of ten people said they will not use the services until they feel safe, according to findings from the independent watchdog.

The poll of 2000 people from Transport Focus found the number of people happy to use transport as soon as restrictions are lifted has gone down from 24 per cent in the first week of the survey to 18 per cent.

The latest findings show people are becoming increasingly concerned about social distancing and wearing masks or face coverings on buses and trains.

The majority of people also expect hand sanitiser to be available.

Transport Focus Chief Executive Anthony Smith said: ‘Governments and transport operators must work together to ensure people receive clear and consistent advice about travel: they need to know who can travel, what rules exist, what they have to do, and where to find information.

‘It’s important that steps are taken as the lockdown is eased to rebuild confidence so that this anxiety doesn’t result in people turning their back on public transport or our roads becoming more congested.’

Commuters at Canning Town Underground Station in east London wait for the train to depart this morning

Commuters at Canning Town Underground Station in east London wait for the train to depart this morning

Clapham Common Underground in south-west London appeared less busy than other stations this morning

Clapham Common Underground in south-west London appeared less busy than other stations this morning

Director of London TravelWatch Emma Gibson added: ‘Almost a third of Londoners are expressing unease about travelling on public transport once restrictions are lifted and nearly two thirds say that they are much more likely to work at home in the future.

‘This is much more than any other region in Great Britain and shows that Londoners are going to need a lot of reassurance before they get back on the Tube and start using buses again in much greater numbers.

‘Londoners are also much more likely than anywhere else in the country to say that they will wear a mask when out and about, reflecting a heightened nervousness about getting around.’

It comes 10 days after unions called for tougher safety rules in response to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting bus drivers were among workers with higher rates of death from Covid-19 than other staff.

Male bus and coach drivers were found to have a rate of 26.4 deaths per 100,000 compared to sales and retail assistants at a rate of 19.8.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady claimed the ONS figures showed the Government was ‘failing on workplace safety – with horrific consequences for our lowest-paid and most precarious workers’.

UCL Institute of Health Equity director Professor Sir Michael Marmot said it was ‘absolutely critical’ more was understood about the high level of coronavirus infections and deaths in London’s bus drivers.

‘They are among our key frontline workers who are keeping society functioning during this Covid-19 pandemic,’ he added.

Mr Khan said it was 'crucial' demand for public transport remained 'as low as possible'. But today at Canning Town (pictured), it remained busy

Mr Khan said it was ‘crucial’ demand for public transport remained ‘as low as possible’. But today at Canning Town (pictured), it remained busy

Britain's train companies ramped up services from around 50 per cent of the normal timetable to 70 per cent this week to reflect eased coronavirus travel restrictions. But unions said it was more like 50 per cent

Britain’s train companies ramped up services from around 50 per cent of the normal timetable to 70 per cent this week to reflect eased coronavirus travel restrictions. But unions said it was more like 50 per cent

Britain’s train companies ramped up services from around 50 per cent of the normal timetable to 70 per cent this week to reflect eased coronavirus travel restrictions.

Mr Khan said it was ‘crucial’ demand for public transport remained ‘as low as possible’.

He said: ‘I urge all Londoners to do their bit to keep our transport workers safe by only using public transport if you have no other alternative.’

A decision to make police officers pay the re-imposed London congestion charge when other key workers are exempt has been described as a ‘slap in the face’.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said officers should not be ‘penalised’ for travelling to their shifts.

The £11.50 daily levy for people driving into central London was suspended on March 23 when the lockdown was announced.

But it was reintroduced on Monday as part of a billion-pound government bailout to secure emergency funding for TfL so underground and bus services could be kept running until September.

TomTom data from this morning already shows road traffic in the capital down by four per cent on last week - before the congestion charge was brought back

TomTom data from this morning already shows road traffic in the capital down by four per cent on last week – before the congestion charge was brought back

Data from Apple mobility trends shows the number of people driving, walking and in transit in the capital earlier this week is way down on normal levels, but is creeping up

Data from Apple mobility trends shows the number of people driving, walking and in transit in the capital earlier this week is way down on normal levels, but is creeping up

Next month the fee will rise to £15 and the hours of operation will be extended.

Mr Marsh said: ‘Since the beginning of this pandemic, police officers in London have worked tirelessly to keep the public safe at no small risk to themselves.

‘To be told that they now have to pay the congestion charge when other key workers retain an exemption is a slap in the face to our brave colleagues.

‘At a time when we are being discouraged from using public transport to get to our places of work, this seems to go completely against Government guidelines.

‘We are pushing this matter with the deputy mayor for policing Sophie Linden as a matter of urgency.

‘Metropolitan Police officers should not be financially penalised for travelling to their shifts to keep the public safe.’

The congestion charge reimbursement scheme remains for NHS staff, ambulance staff and care home workers because there is a ‘greater need for them to travel to work by car to reduce the risk of them coming into contact with others, having been exposed to potentially high levels of infection’, according to the office of the Mayor of London.

A spokesman for Mr Khan said: ‘The Government made TfL reintroduce the Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone and urgently bring forward plans to widen the level and scope of the charge as a condition of the recent funding deal.

‘The police and all our emergency services have done, and continue to do, a phenomenal job in responding to the impact of Covid-19 on London.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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