Calls for action as Tube still packed in rush hour

 

Union bosses and MPs have called for tougher action on social distancing to protect transport workers and reacted with anger after seeing packed London Underground carriages this morning.

A representative of the ASLEF union, told Transport Network: 'This cannot be allowed to continue. Transport workers and other staff are risking their safety. Packed Tubes and platforms are endangering everyone. The Government has to act.

'Only essential businesses should be running. Operating the Tube could be doing more harm than good.

'The Government needs to close down more businesses. Special distancing has to mean social distancing.'

Numbers of passengers have reduced but Transport for London (TfL) reduced services on the Underground meaning that the trains that are still running are more crowded than they otherwise would be.

MPs also put pressure on Government to take further action suggesting that the message had not sunk in, especially in the capital. 

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, said: 'Images of overcrowding on public transport from this morning are alarming. Too many non-key workers are continuing to commute to work because they have been left with no other option. Overcrowding has been worsened by reducing public transport before the closure of non-essential parts of the economy.

'The Government must help keep transport workers and the public safe by urgently extending financial assistance to the self-employed and other workers so nobody risks losing their income by staying at home, and make it clear that workers in all non-key sectors of the economy must not travel to work.'

Vernon Everitt, TfL’s managing director of customers, communication and technology, said: 'To save lives, everyone must follow the Government and mayor’s instructions to stay at home and only travel if absolutely essential. Only critical workers should be using public transport and no one else.

'We thank those acting on that which has brought passenger journeys on the Tube down by around 87%. But to save lives and enable critical NHS and other workers to use our reduced services, more people need to stop travelling right now.'

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