Tube carriages remain packed as politicians row over service levels

Clay Curtis
March 27, 2020

"As of tonight, I have a very simple instruction for the British people: you must stay at home", Johnson said in a television speech.

Khan has been at odds with the government over the Tube network, which is operating at around 50% of its normal capacity during peak times.

Patricia Pereira posted: "Jubilee line service packed, Waterloo station escalators out of use forcing people to use the ones that are working and be extremely near".

"We strongly urge the rest of the public to do the right thing and help us save lives by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus".

In a later tweet he claimed that tube usage was down 13 per cent this morning compared to yesterday and bus travel was down eight per cent.

Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on the people Monday night to stay at home as much as possible, London's subways, the epicentre of the British corona outbreak, are still packed.

About a third of TFL staff were off work due to the pandemic, he said, while maximum members were self-isolating.

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'Many of them have years of safety-critical training in order to run specific lines - so it is simply not possible to replace them with others.

He added: 'TfL will do everything possible to continue safely running a basic service for key workers, including our fantastic NHS staff.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock had earlier on March 24, said at a press briefing, that the Mayor should elevate the number of tubes in the underground network that would allow the public to adhere to government's COVID-19 containment measure. There was no reason convincing enough, for the information he had seen, that the current levels of tube provision should have been so low, health secretary regretted.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said passenger numbers fell by a third on Wednesday morning but more needs to be done.

The Underground network has been hugely reduced by Transport for London (TfL) with 40 stations shut and many services cut back.

He added: "It looks as though the Tories are prepared to defend the interests of building companies who've made huge donations to their coffers, rather than protect the lives of ordinary Londoners and Tube staff".

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