London transport

  1. Taxi and minicab drivers given face masks and sanitiser

    Taxi driver

    London's taxi and private hire drivers are to receive an additional 1.5 million face masks and 30,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.

    The equipment will be distributed at car parks across the capital from Monday as part of an effort to help drivers and passengers avoid being infected by coronavirus.

    Short education videos have been created to provide guidance on how to clean a vehicle after each drop-off.

    Drivers will also receive a sticker to display on a car window to demonstrate they are "Covid prepared".

    Helen Chapman, TfL's director of licensing, regulation and charging, said they were "providing this additional support to help boost the industry in the coming weeks, reassuring customers that vehicles are as safe and clean as they possibly can be".

    Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, said it was "a positive initiative, which should help to demonstrate to the public that taxi drivers are taking every possible precaution to keep their passengers safe, whilst continuing to provide the world class service London's black cabs are known for".

  2. London commuting spikes as lockdown eases

    Woman wearing mask on tube platform

    The number of commuters coming into London has spiked following the end of national lockdown.

    Transport for London said 760,000 journeys were made on the London Underground network from the start of service until 10:00 today - a 14% increase on the same period last week.

    The figure is just 31% of normal demand.

    London has moved into tier-two lockdown restrictions after England-wide lockdown ended at midnight on Tuesday.

    Nonessential shops, hair-dressers and other forms of "personal care" can also reopen. Pubs can open again if they serve substantial meals.

    There were 970,000 bus journeys made. This was up 8% on last week and 57% of pre-pandemic levels.

    Location technology firm TomTom found that the level of congestion on London's roads between 11:00-12:00 was 28%, compared with 23% during the same period last week

  3. Passengers advised to travel at quiet times post-lockdown

    Commuters at Tube station

    Transport for London (TfL) has called on passengers to avoid travelling at busy times as lockdown ends on Wednesday.

    The transport authority is expecting more people to start using services in the next few weeks as shops, businesses and hospitality venues reopen and university students travel home ahead of the Christmas period.

    Information about when stations and stops are quietest can be found here with the less busy periods on public transport currently being between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays, and before noon and after 18:00 on weekends.

    Roads are at their quietest between 10:00 and 15:00 and after 19:00 on weekdays, and before 10:00 and after 18:00 on weekends, according to TfL.

    Andy Byford, London’s transport commissioner, said: "Parts of London may be busier, particularly around the popular shopping and hospitality destinations, so we are asking everyone to plan ahead and travel during the quiet times so that social distancing, and keeping safe, is easier for everyone."

    The transport authority also said about 90% of people were complying with the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport unless they are exempt.

    "The police and TfL's enforcement officers are working hard to ensure that the minority who are not complying are targeted, and if necessary, refused entry to the network and fined," they said.

  4. Nine out of 10 train passengers wear face masks, survey finds

    People wearing face coverings

    More than nine out of 10 train passengers in London are complying with face covering rules, according to new figures.

    Joint patrols by rail staff and British Transport Police (BTP) officers indicated that 90.8% of travellers are complying with the regulations, industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said.

    The number rises to 98.4% when including people putting on coverings after they were spoken to, while 0.2% who refused to comply are either removed from a train or station, or issued with a fine.

    Four operators - Great Northern, Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink - were involved in the eight-week trial, which will be used to consider how to increase compliance across the whole of the rail network.

    It has been mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport in England since 15 June 15, in a bid to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

    RDG director of nations and regions Robert Nisbet said: "We will continue to work closely with BTP to see if this success can be replicated across the country so that more people can travel with confidence."

  5. Transport bosses look to start e-scooter rental scheme

    e-scooters

    Londoners may soon be able to rent e-scooters as part of plans to improve safety.

    Transport for London (TfL), London Councils and London’s boroughs are working together on plans for a trial of rental e-scooters in the capital, with the aim of promoting safety standards and developing a better understanding of the impact of this emerging mode of transport on London’s roads.

    The competition is open to all e-scooter operators, with up to three will be selected to take part in the 12 month trial, which is due to start in spring 2021.

    Guidance issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) in the summer now allows local authorities in the UK to trial e-scooters as part of a rental scheme. The use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads is not covered by these changes and remains illegal in the UK.

    'No go areas'

    The trials are part of a wider approach to enable people to use greener forms of transport.

    Boroughs will control parking locations for e-scooters to protect against street clutter and will be able to designate certain areas as ‘no-go areas’ - where e-scooters cannot be ridden and will automatically come to a stop - or as ‘go-slow areas’, where the speed of the e-scooter will be automatically limited to 8mph.

    E-scooters will be banned from riding on pavements but will be able to use the same space as bicycles.

    The total number of e-scooters involved in the trial has not yet been determined, but TfL expects to start cautiously with between 60 to 150 e-scooters per participating borough, with e-scooters able to move freely across the trial area.

    Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s director of transport innovation, said: “We’re determined to make sure that London recovers from coronavirus as safely and sustainably as possible and are supportive of innovative solutions that could help.

  6. Children's free travel 'at risk if I lose election' - Mayor

    The mayor was also asked whether there was any risk that children could no longer be given free travel on public transport in the future as a result of Transport for London's bailout.

    Sadiq Khan said: "Under 16 and under 18 free travel is only at risk is if I lost the election next May".

    He added the government "wants to remove free travel for our children. They want to remove free travel for over 60s and they want to extend the congestion charge.

    "I've said no to all those things. They tried to impose those conditions on Londoners."