Passengers need urgent answers from TfL and train companies on safety and security with more people set to return to work in the capital this week

11 May 2020

Following last night’s announcement by the Prime Minister, London TravelWatch has highlighted a series of questions that need to be answered by TfL and rail companies to ensure passengers can travel safely and maintain social distancing when travelling by public transport in the capital.

Emma Gibson, Director of London TravelWatch commented: ‘While the Prime Minister said that those who are returning to work as they cannot work from home should avoid using public transport, It is clear that for many people in London who do not own a car and live too far from their workplace to walk or cycle, this simply isn’t feasible. We want to know what TfL and train companies are going to do to help passengers maintain social distancing and will be asking the industry 10 key questions on behalf of passengers to ensure they can travel safely.’

London TravelWatch’s 10 key questions for TfL and train companies are:

  • How will non-essential workers and non-workers be dissuaded from using services?
  • How will you manage queuing in the station and on the platform?
  • How will you deal with people breaking social distancing rules?
  • Will numbers of passengers on the platform be limited? What if it is raining and they have to huddle under a canopy?
  • Will people be prevented from boarding a train that is deemed to be full? And if so, how will that be done? And what if I can’t get on because the train is full?
  • Should I wear a face covering?
  • Is there any change in the advice to disabled people - for those using Passenger Assist on National Rail, or turn up and go on TfL?
  • Will Tube stations that were closed at the end of March be reopened?
  • Can passengers be alerted to which stations and what services are busy and at what times via TfL’s journey planner, on the National Rail Enquiries website and on social media?*
  • Will Congestion Charges and Ultra Low Emission Zones be suspended until further notice?

Update 13/05/20

We have now had a response from the industry to our questions. The answers to them can be viewed on our webpage here.


Note to editors

  1. London TravelWatch is the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  2. *Currently anyone looking to travel via the ‘hotspot’ stations of Brixton, Canning Town, Stratford and West Ham is still directed via these stations when they use TfL’s journey planner, with no flag that they might be busier than usual.
  3. Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and YouTube. For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 07734 055494.
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