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London tubes and buses to operate ‘very differently’ with one-way system introduced to Underground

Many tube and train stations in London will have a one-way system to avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing

Laura Richards

Yesterday saw a return to work for many Londoners, in line with the latest government guidelines. And while the advice is to drive, cycle or walk wherever possible, for many it’s impossible to avoid public transport right now. As such, TfL is looking at bringing back its tube and bus services to a near-full timetable, after running a reduced service for the last several weeks. Although, it sounds like many of the familiar things about travelling on the tube will be a distant memory.    

In a statement sent to customers, Vernon Everitt, managing director, customers, communication and technology, said: ‘In line with Government plans to increase national rail services, we are working hard to return Tube and bus services to normal levels under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, with many staff ill, shielding or self-isolating. By next week, over 70 per cent of Tube services (in line with national rail services) and 85 per cent of bus services will be running.’

However, despite a nearly full service for bus and tube travellers, social distancing will mean that nowhere near as many people will be able to travel on the network now. According to the statement, even once travel services in London are back to full strength, tubes and buses will be reduced to between 13 and 15 percent capacity.

To ensure safe movement around stations, one-way systems are being proposed, too. ‘You may be asked to wait to enter a station. Some stations will have one-way systems, or you may be asked to walk on the left,’ added Everitt. TfL also reminded customers that it’s keeping buses and Underground trains as clean as possible, using hospital-grade disinfectant. 

And if in doubt, the message is still very clear that London’s public transport network should be avoided unless absolutely essential, and that face coverings should be worn throughout journeys. 

Read the latest guidance on face masks in London

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