London

Many women 'feel unsafe on London transport' - YouGov

Policeman in Tube station
Image caption One woman talked of frequent sexual harassment on the Tube

More than a quarter of women do not feel safe using London public transport even in the day, a survey suggests.

The YouGov survey for the End Violence Against Women Coalition found that that 28% of women felt unsafe, compared with 15% of men.

The coalition of charities called on the next mayor to "make London the world's safest city for women".

Transport for London (TfL) said it "shares the call to make travelling in London as safe as possible".

Some 1,047 Londoners took part in the survey, 523 of them women.

Respondents called for increased visible staffing to allay their fears.

Increased policing and better lighting at bus stops were also priorities.

One woman wrote: "Feel unsafe at night if I am alone and travelling home. I often move carriages on the Tube to feel safer or change buses."

Another said: "Have had some issues when travelling on the top deck of a bus, especially at night, so don't feel safe up there. Safer to sit nearer the driver."

A third respondent opined: "I feel safer on public transport than I do walking around, but I have still experienced several nasty incidents of sexual harassment on the tube where I have been forced to change carriage or leave the train a stop early to avoid harassment from men."

End Violence Against Women Coalition co-chairwoman Marai Larasi said the survey results were "truly disturbing".

'Not acceptable'

She said: "They confirm what many women already know - that thousands of us are worried about our safety if we choose to travel alone.

"And that many women and girls in London actually do not feel able to travel after dark because of these fears."

She added: "This is not acceptable in 21st Century London, and our political and community leaders have the power to do something about it.

"We call on all mayoral candidates to address these survey findings during their campaigns and on whoever is elected to hold a summit on women's safety on London public transport."

TfL said: "We share End Violence Against Women Coalition's call to make travelling in London as safe as possible.

"The capital's transport system is already a low crime environment and is getting safer.

"The Tube is one of the most well staffed metros in Europe and we are committed to every station having a member of staff at all times that services are running."

The Metropolitan Police is yet to comment.

Some 45,000 incidents of domestic violence and 3,000 rapes were reported to the police in London last year, Scotland Yard figures show.

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