London TravelWatch calls for operators to be up front about busy stations and services before next step up in public transport

10 June 2020

London TravelWatch has called for TfL and transport companies to be up front with the public about how busy stations and train services are and will be as more schools and non-essential retailers reopen on 15 June.

Research carried out by the watchdog’s sister body, Transport Focus shows that passengers are nervous about not being able to properly socially distance and want transport operators to put clear and consistent procedures in place to ensure they can travel safely, reinforced by good communication.

London TravelWatch has outlined three key actions for TfL and transport companies, London’s Councils, businesses, schools and passengers to take to ensure limited capacity is used wisely as people continue to return to public transport.

The actions include asking TfL and train companies to ensure enough staff are available to help manage queuing at busy stations. TfL and councils need to extend the hours of operation of bus/cycle lanes and review on-road parking. Businesses and schools can help by providing secure cycle parking and opening later in the day. Passengers also need to play their part by carefully planning their journeys if they have to travel, avoiding short journeys by bus or Tube and walking or cycling where possible.

Emma Gibson, Director of London TravelWatch commented: 'With limited capacity available on London’s public transport network because of the need to socially distance, it is essential that TfL and transport companies, London’s Councils, businesses, schools and passengers all play their part to ensure that public transport is not overwhelmed as the lockdown continues to ease.'

Emma continued: 'TfL and train companies need to be up-front about which routes are going to be really busy so that passengers can choose whether to travel or not. It is great that the National Rail website will now alert rail passengers to busy trains and stations before they leave home – something we have been asking for, but there is still more to do. Deploying extra staff who can manage potential crowding at hotspots will be critical for helping to keep safe those people who have to travel.'

London TravelWatch has also updated its guide for people returning to public transport on 15 June.

Further information

  • 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. 
  • Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and YouTube. For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 07734 055494.
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