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Coronavirus: Crowds reported on Tube, Aslef union says

Coronavirus: Crowds reported on Tube, Aslef union says

  • 23 March 2020
Related Topics
  • Coronavirus pandemic
Image copyright Tom Edwards
Image caption The Tube was busy on the Victoria Line at 06:50 GMT despite advice to stay away

London Underground staff are "furious" that parts of the network remain crowded, despite the public being told to limit travel to essential journeys.

Aslef union's Finn Brennan said crowding reported by members on Monday made social distancing "impossible".

London's mayor Sadiq Khan has urged workers to stay at home and only to use public transport if you are a key worker otherwise, "people will die".

Transport for London (TfL) says Tube use has fallen by 70% during the week.

Image copyright Tom Edwards
Image caption TfL said there had been a 70% fall in the number of passengers on the Tube network during the week

Writing on Twitter, Mr Brennan, Aslef's district organiser, said: "Still heavy loading on some Tube lines this morning making social distancing impossible.

"This is endangering the health of the vital workers who have to use the system."

He called on the government to act now adding: "I'm being sent pictures of crush loaded platforms at some Jubilee line platforms this morning.

"Drivers and other frontline staff are furious."

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Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: "There is still enormous personal pressure on the Tube workforce who are exposed to levels of social contact that the Government say are unacceptable for the wider public.

"The only people using our transport services should be essential workers who have to travel."

TfL said there had been a 70% fall in the number of passengers on the Tube network during the week and a 40% fall in bus use across its network.

However, some commuters have complained trains have become busier, particularly where fewer services are running.

One key worker, a nurse who asked to remain anonymous, said it was "a lot busier" during her journey on the District Line compared to in the past week.

She said she felt "more concerned" travelling because fewer services meant there were "more people in a confined space".

Last week 40 Tube stations were closed for the foreseeable future in an attempt to reduce the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

There is no night Tube and bus services have also been reduced.

The Waterloo and City line is shut and TfL said it would gradually reduce other parts of its network.

These include the London Overground, TfL Rail, the DLR and the tram network in south London.