Sadiq Khan: London public transport could be cut due to coronavirus

Coronavirus: Sadiq Khan says London public transport could be cut

Sadiq Khan: London public transport could be cut due to coronavirus
A sparsely-filled carriage on an Underground train in west London the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on people to work from home if possible and avoid all non-essential contacts. Photo: Martin Keene/PA Wire

London’s public transport network could soon be massively scaled back due to the coronavirus, Sadiq Khan has said.

The government has asked people to work from home and avoid public places in a bid to slow down the transmission of the coronavirus, which is rising more rapidly in London.

The Mayor of London told Good Morning Britain that service frequencies could be slashed in the coming days.

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“What we may do over the course of the next few days is go to a Saturday or Sunday service during the week and then maybe even scale that down even more over the course of the next few days and weeks,” he said.

The number of Tube journeys made last week was down 19% compared with the same period in 2019.

But he added that a “basic public transport service” is needed for frontline workers including medics, firefighters and police officers.

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‘Will evolve over time’

Transport for London figures show that the number of Tube journeys made last week was down 19% compared with the same period in 2019, while bus journeys were down 10%.

The transport body said this was due to a “significant reduction” in visitors to London, more people working from home, and consumers being “cautious about their expenditure”.

London’s transport commissioner Mike Brown said: “We and our staff are doing everything we can to ensure that people who need to make essential journeys can continue to do so.

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“Part of that involves matching service levels to the actual demand for travel. That work is under way and will evolve over time.”

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Sam Hewitt
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