London

London's Tube and bus system 'soiled thousands of times'

Man urinates on London Underground Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Vomit, urine, blood and faecal matter were found on the London Underground

London's transport system was strewn with vomit, urine, blood and faecal matter thousands of times last year, according to new figures.

Transport for London (TfL) buses were reported as "soiled" a total of 14,632 times in 2018, with some affected more than twice per week.

Tube trains were delayed due to "soiled cars" on 801 separate occasions.

The five lines with Night Tube services were the Underground lines that were soiled most often.

"It is very disgusting, especially on weekends and nights," an anonymous cleaner told the Press Association.

October was the worst month for soiling on the bus network with 1,351 incidents.

During July, when the heatwave and the England men's football team's run to the World Cup semi-finals brought revellers out, there were 1,291 incidents.

The worst route was the number 25 bus between Ilford in east London and Holborn in the centre of the city.

TfL classes a carriage as having been soiled when passengers have left vomit, urine, blood or smashed glass behind.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT union, said: "These shocking statistics show just what a dirty and disgusting job our cleaner members have to do.

"There is no question that the introduction of the Night Tube has seen an increase in this sort of behaviour, which has appalling consequences for staff and passengers alike."

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Cleaners on the London Underground are a "hidden army" with "mops and buckets cleaning up the filth and mess to keep London moving", he added.

A spokesperson for TfL said: "We aim to deal with any incidents of this nature on our network as soon as possible once they are reported, with specialist staff available to undertake cleaning as required.

"We ask all customers to consider their fellow passengers and to help us to keep the network running safely and smoothly."

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