25 March 2020
Londoners are used to many things disrupting their daily routines and travel plans, but coronavirus is a new, unseen, silent threat that Londoners are adapting to. This is very obvious on public transport, often seen as the lifeblood of the capital, with reduced service frequencies and much fewer people travelling.
But this is not the case everywhere and some parts of the Underground are still very busy. Understandably, images of crowded tube trains are causing grave concern, because of the risk of illness spreading among NHS and other vital staff who are going to and from work. The public transport network is being maintained in order that essential journeys can still be made. Is too little capacity being provided? Are too many non-essential journeys being made? Perhaps it’s a mixture of the two? Might even more measures be necessary to ensure those making essential trips can do so safely?
We will all have to think about how we can, while adhering strictly to the instructions, help avoid the social and health consequences of loneliness in the coming weeks. Public transport is traditionally a social experience and can be the only human contact that the people who live on their own in the city have on a day-to-day basis.