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TfL reduces public transport service in face of COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus

Mark Moran
21 March 2020
Lancaster Gate on the Central Line is among 40 London Underground stations set to close (Creative Commons)
Lancaster Gate on the Central Line is among 40 London Underground stations set to close (Creative Commons)
 

Following the government’s advice to stop non-essential social contact, the Mayor of London has asked Transport for London (TfL) to make a number of changes to services to ensure a safe and reliable service to enable London’s critical workers who need to make essential journeys.

The Mayor and TfL are urging all other customers to follow the government’s advice and not make anything but essential journeys.

From Friday 20 March, up to 40 London Underground (LU) stations that do not interchange with other lines closed until further notice.

There will also be no service on the Waterloo & City line.

On Friday and Saturday nights there will be no all-night ‘Night Tube’ service or the all-night ‘Night Overground’ service that currently runs on the East London line. Available staff will be redeployed to ensure the resilience of the regular Tube and Overground services. Late services on the Tube and Overground will continue to run, with trains running late into the night on all days for essential travel only.

From Monday 23 March, TfL will gradually reduce the frequency of other services across the TfL network to provide a service for critical workers to get to where they need to – ensuring that remaining services are not overcrowded.

TfL is aiming to run Tube trains every 4 minutes in Zone 1, with the possibility that this will reduce further. Similarly, from next week until further notice, London Overground, TfL Rail, the DLR and London Trams will run fewer services. 

On the bus network, from Monday 23 March until further notice, a service similar to a Saturday will run. TfL's night bus network will continue, to provide critical workers with a night travel option.

Following the decision to close many schools completely, TfL will review which school buses should still run and which should be amended at a later date.
Although these are the services TfL plans to run, if fewer staff are available further measures may be needed. TfL is working closely with the Government and other agencies and keeping all services under review.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “People should not be travelling, by any means, unless they really, really have to. Londoners should be avoiding social interaction unless absolutely necessary, and that means they should be avoiding using the transport network unless absolutely necessary. London will get through these extraordinarily challenging times, and ensuring the capital’s critical workers can move around the city will be crucial.

“Frontline staff across our health and care service – as well as those ensuring Londoners stay safe and can access food and other essentials – should be commended for their hard work. We owe it to them to do whatever we can to help them do their jobs effectively. I’m urging Londoners to only use public transport for essential journeys. Everyone should follow this and the other advice to help keep themselves and each other safe.”

London’s transport commissioner, Mike Brown, said: “The advice from government is clear – people should now only be making journeys that are absolutely essential. We and our staff are doing everything we can to ensure that people who need to make essential journeys can continue to do so.

“To make sure we can do that there will be a number of changes to the services we provide, including suspending the Night Tube and Night Overground, suspending the Waterloo & City line and closing some stations to ensure we can staff key locations. Night bus services still continue to run so that people making critical journeys can get to where they need to at all times.”

TfL is also waiving the £5 administration fee when processing refunds for customers who are following government guidance to self-isolate or work from home.

Anyone who needs to make essential journeys should check http://www.tfl.gov.uk for live travel updates before they travel.

Fewer Santander Cycle hubs will be open in central London. To see available Santander Cycle Hubs, visit https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/santander-cycles/find-a-docking-station?intcmp=2321 or download the Santander Cycle app.

Cycle route maps can be found here: https://tfl.gov.uk/maps/cycle?intcmp=40402

Walking times between Rail and Tube stations can be found here: www.tfl.gov.uk/walking

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