Tube drivers ‘furious’ as trains remain packed despite coronavirus warnings

Darnell Taylor
March 24, 2020

British Transport Police (BTP) will be available to stop non-essential workers from travelling on the London Underground, the force said. Bare hands holding rails, people not even wearing masks even though they are rubbing shoulders. Packed Tubes and platforms are endangering everyone.

Images posted online of crowded London Underground trains have prompted Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to call for an end to all but essential commuter travel.

"Stay at home they said!"

"I think the messages have been mixed and the public don't appear to understand the importance of following the message "everyone should stay at home - full stop". Last week we asked everyone who could work from home to do so and put in place measures to limit movement across the programme.

But with many businesses remaining open for their staff and key healthcare workers in the United Kingdom capital needing to use the TfL network to travel to work, commuters have been forced to stand close to each other on packed trains exposing themselves to greater risk of contracting the virus. They're there to stop the virus spreading.

Mr Khan demanded employers enable their staff to work from home "unless it's absolutely necessary".

The U.K lockdown went into effect at midnight on March 23, but it allows citizens to leave their homes for four reasons, traveling to and from work if it is impossible to work from home, to shop for essential items like food or medicine, to take care of health care needs - such as a doctor's appointment.

Transport union TSSA has also called for police to be deployed at major train stations in London to ensure only passengers who are "providing vital services" are travelling.

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It is not even clear venues will be available and tens of thousands of hotel rooms will need to be cancelled and rebooked. Training has become impossible for many athletes and exposes them to the risk of contracting or spreading the disease.

They also said the night tube service would be suspended at weekend.

An NHS worker has urgently called for immediate action by the government to remedy the situation across the London Underground network.

He said that one form of exercise a day would be granted to people, adding that people could cycle or go for a run.

He urged passengers to only use the Tube "when essential".

"Seats on the train all had at least one person so people needed to stand, and the District line was busy as well", she said.

While speaking to BBC, a commuter, nurse Julia Harris stated that she didn't think things have improved on the trains, "as a large amount of people are commuting early in the morning".

"I live in zone 4 and work in a zone 1 hospital". The choice isn't there and my commute is quite long.

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