‘Construction workers outnumber NHS staff’: Fury at Sadiq Kahn for ‘doing nothing’


Angry commuters across London’s tube network have slammed London Mayor Sadiq Khan as they claim construction workers using the packed trains ‘outnumber NHS staff’.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously urged Britons to stay at home and not to travel, but many using Transport for London (TfL) services have claimed that busy tubes are now a daily occurrence, even though people have been asked to work from home where possible.

Photos this morning showed commuters at London stations such as Canning Town and Leytonstone boarding busy trains.

TfL has put posters and signs up at stations warning commuters to only travel on the network if they are key workers, in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

This morning workers at one tube in Leytonstone, east London, were seen cramming onto the tube. The station is in zone 3/4 of the TfL network

In Canning Town, east London, workers were seen lining up as they waited to board the tubes. The station is in zone 2/3 of the TfL network

In Canning Town, east London, workers were seen lining up as they waited to board the tubes. The station is in zone 2/3 of the TfL network

At Leytonstone people were seen getting onto the tube with masks on this morning as they faced another packed train. Many are still unable to get seats on the packed carriages

At Leytonstone people were seen getting onto the tube with masks on this morning as they faced another packed train. Many are still unable to get seats on the packed carriages 

The Mayor last night highlighted the safety of London's transport workers, tweeting: 'The safety of London's transport workers is deeply personal to me, and something I take extremely seriously.'

The Mayor again urged Londoners to stay at home this morning

The Mayor highlighted the safety of London’s transport workers, tweeting: ‘The safety of London’s transport workers is deeply personal to me, and something I take extremely seriously.’ Right, The Mayor again urged Londoners to stay at home this morning

One commuter this morning posted a picture on social media that showed the amount of construction workers using the services, in comparison to NHS staff.

Alongside the photo the user tweeted: ‘#TFL #sadiqkhan. Good job make sure the construction workers out number NHS staff’. 

Another shared a picture of people being forced to stand up on one of the services and tweeted: ‘So you’ve done absolutely nothing about your crowded trains of key workers owing to your infrequent running of trains that I told you about yesterday’. 

One passengers at Acton Town station also tweeted: ‘Good idea to have multiple trains terminate at Acton Town, gotta make sure that the tube is packed with key workers’. The tweet was posted alongside a photo of people waiting at the platform. 

Another commuter posted a photo of a busy District Line train and said they had tried to travel at different times, claiming that many people had started to travel again as normal. 

The Mayor has come under intense scrutiny since the outbreak of the pandemic after refusing to run more services for key workers despite daily pictures showing packed underground carriages. 

Twitter users took to social media to vent their anger about how busy the tubes continue to be despite many being urged to work from home

Twitter users took to social media to vent their anger about how busy the tubes continue to be despite many being urged to work from home 

He has repeatedly urged Londoners to work from home where possible to protect key workers who need to travel and to avoid travelling at rush hour if they had to commute.

When asked why he has scheduled more trains he said earlier this month: ‘We cannot run more services due to numbers of TFL staff off sick or self-isolating.’

A total of 21 London transport workers have now died after contracting the virus, nine of them bus workers, according to the The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT). 

Despite the chaos on TfL trains Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services, this morning unveiled three re-branded trains paying homage to NHS Staff across the UK fighting coronavirus. 

Transporting frontline workers to over 50 hospitals across the network, the NHS and Key Workers services will show support to those who selflessly make the journey each day to combat the virus and help save lives.

Steve White, Chief Operating Officer at Govia Thameslink Railway said: ‘We are proud to be supporting the NHS, social care and emergency services during this crisis. We hope that our NHS and Key Worker trains show how grateful we are to those working so very hard to keep people safe and beat this virus. There are 50 hospitals across our network and we are carrying more than 200,000 key workers each week. The team at GTR appreciates each and every one of them.’

Despite Boris Johnson saying the public should stay home, many are still being  forced to travel on packed tubes. Pictured above people getting on the tube this morning at Leytonstone

Despite Boris Johnson saying the public should stay home, many are still being  forced to travel on packed tubes. Pictured above people getting on the tube this morning at Leytonstone

Tubes in London are still busy after Transport for London cut the amount of services being offered. Many commuters have clammed Sadiq Khan for his response

Tubes in London are still busy after Transport for London cut the amount of services being offered. Many commuters have clammed Sadiq Khan for his response

One passenger was seen on the central line this morning wearing a face mask and gloves on his way to work. Many people are still using the tubes

One passenger was seen on the central line this morning wearing a face mask and gloves on his way to work. Many people are still using the tubes

Passengers are seen at Canning Town station this morning as they wait for the Jubilee line. Some commuters have previously complained due to the sporadic service timetable

Passengers are seen at Canning Town station this morning as they wait for the Jubilee line. Some commuters have previously complained due to the sporadic service timetable 

This is while in an interview with Glamour magazine yesterday, the London Mayor was pressed about the Tube chaos. 

He was asked by Glamour’s Entertainment Director Josh Smith: ‘A lot has been made of in the last couple of days about how anxious people are going to be about actually leaving the house when this is over. 

‘For me as a person who commutes everyday and gets on packed tubes – how can you reassure me and other people like this when we do back on those tubes and they’re really packed, that we’re going to be safe?’

The Mayor replied: ‘Really good question. We’ve got to make sure that we don’t have a big bang approach where everyone just goes back to normal. 

‘We have to make sure we phase coming out of lockdown and that’s one of the reasons that we’ve got to put pressure on the government to have the right testing and the right equipment available, personal protective equipment available. 

In Acton this morning

People said it was standing room only on some trains

Social media users took to Twitter this morning as they complained about the long waiting times for tube trains and the conditions on board

‘I’m impressed with the countries that have got testing right. There’s two type of testing that’s important Josh. One is anti-gen test which says have you got covid-19. 

‘The second test is have you had it, which means you’re less likely to get it again. We need to have much more testing before we can come out of lockdown and also make sure we have much more equipment available. 

‘That will make sure we don’t’ revert back to a spread of covid-19, we’ve seen in South Korea and China some examples of another increase in covid- 19. That’s people coming into the country. 

‘And so what I wouldn’t want to do is return to the rush hours we used to have before covid-19, until we’re confident about the numbers of people catching covid-19 and that the NHS can cope. It’s important you’re reassured before you start using public transport again.’

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