TfL changes boarding policy as death toll mounts in the capital

 

With the COVID-19 death toll for transport workers in London reaching 26, the majority of whom were bus drivers, Transport for London (TfL) has agreed to allow middle-door only boarding from 20 April.

The tragic deaths of London transport staff include 20 bus workers, four Tube and rail workers, one staff member in TfL's head office and one worker from a partner organisation.

”Local

With the government action plan and advice ruling out PPE for transport workers, London mayor Sadiq Khan and TfL have come under pressure from unions to step up protection for transport workers.

After the unions said staff should refuse to work if they felt conditions were not safe, TfL was forced onto the back foot.

It launched a trial of middle-door only boarding on buses and said the World Health Organisation and Public Health England advise that clinical PPE 'is not required in non-care settings and could be counterproductive'.

However, the mayor has asked TfL to look into the availability of PPE stock for transport workers 'in case the advice changes'.

Mr Khan has also asked the government to make wearing face masks compulsory while travelling on public transport in London.

He said: 'The evidence around the world is that this is effective. I'm lobbying our government and advisers to change their advice, and I want us to do that sooner rather than later.

'They are already reviewing this on the basis of our representation.'

Following the seven day trial on nine routes, TfL will now only allow bus passengers to board using the centre doors from Monday. During these temporary arrangements passengers will not be required to touch in - making bus transport effectively free of charge.

'Customers should not approach the card reader near the driver’s cab,' TfL said.

After observing passengers across the 140 buses involved in the trial, TfL said it confident that the low number of people currently using the network can keep a safe distance when entering and exiting through the same door.

The new boarding arrangements will be kept under review and will be adjusted as the Government reviews the travel restrictions currently in place across the country.

TfL has repeatedly reminded everyone that public transport is only for absolutely essential journeys. The number of people on buses has fallen by around 85%.

Pete Kavanagh, Unite London and eastern regional secretary, said: 'We have lost members of our bus family in recent days and we refuse to lose any more.

'Unite has been asking for central boarding as an essential safety measure during these times because bus workers are, understandably, fearful for their health. It is reassuring that the Mayor and TfL have listened and acted now to protect this workforce.

'We have 20,000 bus workers across the capital. They have lost colleagues and friends in recent weeks. They need to see all the support that they can muster from the mayor, the employers and TfL so that they can assure their loved ones that they are being kept safe at work.'

Mr Khan, said: 'I am extremely grateful to all our heroic transport workers for the fantastic job they do day in and day out keeping our city moving and helping key workers get to where they are needed most.'

TfL has also put up signage asking passengers not to sit in the seats near the driver’s cab, made improvements to the drivers' protective screen by adding a new protective film to cover holes, and provides regular announcements to reinforce the need to keep a safe space from others.

TfL said it is also exploring what more can be done to create a completely sealed partition between drivers and passengers that allows for both communication and ventilation.

A rigorous cleaning regime using anti-viral fluid in stations, depots, bus garages, trains and on buses, including the driver’s cab, has been put in place.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Waste Loaders

City of York Council
£9.52 per hour
Do you have a current UK driving licence? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

General Operatives/Drivers/Gardeners

City of York Council
£9.52 to £10.30 dependent upon experience
Do you have a current UK driving licence? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Programme Manager - Highways

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£42,683 - £44,632
Are you an experienced, talented and collaborative Programme Manager with experience of supporting public sector transformation and change? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

(Senior) Environmental Health Officer/Enforcement Officer

Brent Council
£35,724 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
We are looking for Environmental Health Officers; EHRB registered and has current experience in food safety and health & safety enforcement. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Road worker/Ground worker

City of York Council
£10.30 per hour
Have you successfully worked as part of a team? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

HGV Relief Driver

North West Leicestershire District Council
Salary Band D, £21,589- £24,799 per year (pro rata to period of contract)
We are looking to recruit temporary HGV Relief Drivers with occasional loading duties to join NWLDC’s busy Waste Services Team. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Waste Services Worker (Loader)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band B, £18,795 - £19,171 per year (pro rata to the length of contract)
We are looking for Waste Operations Loaders to join our Waste Services Team to undertake waste collection and other related duties. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Chargehand/Ganger

City of York Council
£11.09 per hour
Do you have experience of excavation, reinstatement and footway maintenance schemes? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Sustainability & Resilience Manager (maternity cover)

Essex County Council
£51510.0 - £58752 per annum
This fixed-term contract will begin in August 2020 and is expected to last until October 2021 Interviews scheduled to be held Wednesday 10th June 2020 England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Civil Service Deputy Director Roles

GOV.UK
£70,000 - £117,800 & excellent rewards
We’re looking for significant experience of engaging at C-Suite and Board levels, excellent partnership-building and... England
Recuriter: GOV.UK

Engineer (Highways Scheme Design)

Medway Council
£31,888 - £37,646 per annum
The post-holder will be required to have highway engineering expertise in order to contribute to efficient and effective provision of... Medway City Estate, Rochester
Recuriter: Medway Council

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
£42,683-£46,566
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Resources and Waste Commercial and Contracts Manager

Northumberland County Council
£47,107 - £50,394
We are looking for a strategic, innovative and performance-focused leader to join us as Resources and Waste; Commercial and Contracts Manager. County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

SEN Travel Assessment Co-ordination Officer

London Borough of Bexley
£35,529 - £41,796
We are currently seeking an experienced officer administrator who will enjoy working as team and under their own initiative, with duties including... Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Principal Planning Liaison Officer X3

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Estate Roads Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Travel Plan Officer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Assistant Estate Roads Engineer x2

Somerset County Council
£25,295 to £28,785 per annum
We have 2 exciting opportunities for enthusiastic and committed individuals to join our Highways Development Management Team Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Design Services Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£50,430 - £55,503
We are a team of mixed experience and skills, proud to serve the people of Lincolnshire and have fun whilst doing so! Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Transport Planning Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£29,636 to £32,029
We are looking for a Transport Planning Officer to join our Highways and Transportation service. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council