Published on : Friday, April 17, 2020
The passengers in London will be allowed to board buses for free and banned from using the front door as part of new pandemic measures announced by Transport for London (TfL). The free travel and middle door-only boarding will be temporarily introduced from Monday to protect drivers and keep passengers safe from the coronavirus, the operator said in an official statement.
Earlier this week, TfL announced that 26 members of staff across the transport network had died from Covid-19. London mayor Sadiq Khan said on Friday the total included 20 bus drivers who had lost their lives.
Sadiq Khan said that he will continue do whatever it takes to keep our heroic transport workers as safe as possible. He added that he would like to remind Londoners that Londoners shouldn’t be travelling by any mode of transport unless it is absolutely necessary, and public transport is only open for critical workers.
Khan also urged the government to change its advice to the public on wearing face masks to help combat the spread of the virus.
Khan, who wrote to transport secretary Grant Shapps about the issue, said he is lobbying for masks to be worn in circumstances where people cannot keep two metres apart, such as on public transport.
TfL trialed the boarding change on 140 buses across nine routes, with the operator saying it was “confident” that the low number of people travelling meant people could keep a safe distance between each other. The limited use of London’s buses by essential workers had led the number of people travelling to “plummet” by about 85 per cent.