Commuters vented their fury at Sadiq Khan again today as the Tube was packed with key workers including NHS staff on day three of Britain’s historic coronavirus lockdown.
The Mayor of London, who has sparked fury and defied the Prime Minister by cutting Tube services while blaming staff sickness at Transport for London, is being accused of ‘risking lives’ because of the conditions underground in the capital.
More shocking pictures of packed carriages, platforms and stations emerged online again today as there are not enough trains to carry people who have no choice but to go to work in London, including medics on the frontline saving lives of coronavirus victims.
Denise Bennett tweeted this morning: ‘Message from daughter, going to work as a nurse in London – “tube station is rammed”. How can she stay safe, keep her patients safe when she has to travel to work like this @SadiqKhan’.
Debz lipsphil was on the Tube today and tweeted: ‘@SadiqKhan why have you reduced the tube service? Key workers are forced to be squashed together! Nuts! Thanks for that stupid unsafe idea!’.
While Richard heath said: ‘No wonder the country not taking this serious when the london tube still like f*****g sardines’.
Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘Ridiculous. Come on Mayor @SadiqKhan – you must run enough trains for people to maintain 2m distancing or they will infect each other & be unable to provide essential work. Sort it’.
Commuters vented their fury at Sadiq Khan again today as the Tube was packed again on day three of Britain’s historic lockdown – this is the Central Line at 5.45am today, showing carriages are full even before rush hour
This was the escalator at Waterloo station this morning where social distancing for key workers was completely impossible again
Critics including commuters and Piers Morgan have urged Sadiq Khan to put on more Tube trains to avoid spreading coronavirus
One in three of TfL staff are ill or in self-isolation – including large numbers of drivers and customer-facing workers – with the sickness figures appearing to be disproportionately higher than among frontline workers in the NHS, police and fire services.
Some have blamed the strength of the Tube unions and their threat to pull away members for the high level of staff absence.
MailOnline can reveal that during rush hour today some London Underground lines are currently only running one train every twenty minutes, when it should be one every three to five minutes, causing more crammed conditions in ‘death trap’ carriages and on heaving platforms.
Boris Johnson has said: ‘My own view is that we should be able to run a better Tube system at the moment, we should be able to get more Tubes on the line.’
He claimed ‘I do not wish in any way to cast aspersions on what is going on at TfL’, and pledged to give the mayor ‘every support’ to get through ‘what seems to me to be his present logistical difficulties’.
London Underground tube passengers try to squeeze onto a carriage on the Central Line at White City this morning with services set to become even less frequent, according to underfire Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
London’s Tube network is busy again today as Sadiq Khan blamed staff sickness for the severely reduced timetable
A commuter in a gas mask waits for a Tube train as Sadiq Khan said it was not possible to run anything but a reduced service
As deaths in the capital doubled, the Mayor of London is facing mounting fury and pressure to restore services to normal levels with some NHS workers claiming they are now more worried about travelling to work than treating coronavirus patients in hospital.
But in a statement Mayor Khan revealed more train services will go and said: ‘Nearly a third of TfL’s staff are now off sick or self-isolating – including train drivers and crucial control centre staff.
‘Many of them have years of safety-critical training in order to run specific lines – so it is simply not possible to replace them with others.
‘TfL will do everything possible to continue safely running a basic service for key workers, including our amazing NHS staff, but if the number of TfL staff off sick or self-isolating continues to rise – as we sadly expect it will – we will have no choice but to reduce services further.’.
There were grim scenes on the Tube again today where commuters with no choice but to go to work were faced to stand nose-to-nose with strangers on teeming trains.
Key worker Tony Drew tweeted: ‘No-one is listening to you and don’t need to reduce the service as much as you have. You need to get more trains on and stop putting the lives of key workers like me at risk’.
Kate Mat wrote: ‘I have zero respect for Sadiq & TFL! Are they really blind or just heartless??! They are putting key workers life in danger!!!! Nurses, doctors and other key workers can’t practice social distancing on cramped tubes!’
A senior nurse named Danny posted on Twitter: ‘Another busy tube. Can we not stagger people’s start times so we aren’t all squashed on the same tube! This is unsafe and not fair!’, and Barry Trimble, whose work involves ensuring cancer patients receive chemotherapy, posted: ‘The Tube is packed, with social distancing impossible. We need more people to stay at home and more trains running in morning and evening peak.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said there is ‘no good reason’ Tube services have been slashed and Boris Johnson also questioned why up to three quarters of services had been axed in a call with Mr Khan yesterday,
Commuters have today vented their fury at the lack of trains, with one tweeting Mr Khan this morning with the plea: ‘You are herding key workers into a smaller space.
‘Your decision is a difficult one but is directly risking lives. Please rethink this for our health workers so they can at least feel safe going to work’.
Another NHS worker said: ‘Please sort the tubes out, this is risking lives. Emergency workers have to use TFL! Help now’.
Today 500 police officers were deployed at major stations to remind passengers that only those making essential journeys for work should be using the Tube and trains
Mother of premature baby says she is worried about taking the Tube to visit her son in hospital in as chef and waitress struggle to travel amid Underground chaos
Mary Selassie, 42, is taking the underground from Ealing Broadway to Westminster, the closest station to St Thomas’ hospital in South London where her son Elhan is being treated in a specialist intensive care unit after being born three months early
A special needs teacher told MailOnline he has quit work because of the dangers of contracting coronavirus while travelling on packed tubes, while the mother of a premature baby has revealed that she was worried about taking the Tube but had little choice if she wanted to visit her newly arrived son in hospital.
Mary Selassie, 42, was taking the underground from Ealing Broadway to Westminster, the closest station to St Thomas’ hospital in South London where her son Elhan is being treated in a specialist intensive care unit after being born three months early. The journey takes around an hour.
She told MailOnline: ‘I need the underground at this time because without it I would not be able to spend time with my son. I’ve been doing this journey for the past three weeks and in the last few days the service has not been as regular. I don’t understand why they are reducing the number of trains because it just means that we have to wait for longer.
‘Many other people are in the same difficult position as me. They’re getting the tube because they have to. Of course I’m worried because there’s a very high chance that I could become infected using public transport and then I definitely would not be able to see my baby. This is just adding to my stress.’
Edvaldo DaSilva, 42, said he had tried and failed to find space to board the underground on Monday and Tuesday and today decided to stay at home.
Mr DaSilva said: ‘I normally leave my home at Bethnal green and take the tube at around 7 am. ‘ Last week it was fine and I was able to get on to the trains. ‘
But on Monday and Tuesday it was impossible because their were less trains running than before.
‘The platform was packed and the trains took about 15 minutes to arrive and then I couldn’t get on. I looked at everybody on the trains and I thought ‘they’re breathing all over each other. This is so dangerous’.
‘We are supposed to be keeping two meters from people and now that they are less trains, people are being pushed together even more and it’s dangerous for our health.
‘I saw passengers with their faces stuck next to others and it was terrible. It just needs one person on the train to have coronavirus and everybody is at risk.’
Mr DaSilva, who works at the Riverside School in Wood Green, added: ‘This is not acceptable. It’s really hard for me because I teach vulnerable young people life skills and I must be allowed to do my job.
‘But my boss understands and now the government needs to understand. These tube trains are very dangerous for everyone staff and passengers. Something has to be done.
‘They need to put new trains on or restrict people travelling. It’s so dangerous and opposite to what we are being told by the Government. I feel very sorry for those people who have to ride on those tubes so closely together. It is not right.’
Ana Gomes, 40 and Carlos Maestu, 51 were taking the central line from Ealing Broadway to West Acton following a shopping trip to a supermarket.
Ernesta Juskatie, 38, a dental nurse, is taking the underground to get to work
Ms Gomes, a waitress who is currently at home after the restaurant she works in closed, said: ‘We don’t want to get the tube, but we have to. The nearest supermarket to us is here in Ealing Broadway. Both of us are taking all the precautions we can, we’d rather not use public transport but what else are we supposed to do?
Spaniard Mr Maestu, a chef, who is also at home following the closure of the central London restaurant he works in added: ‘In Spain the lockdown is much tougher than in Britain. If you ask me, they need to shut down all public transport except to essential workers because there are still too many people out and about.
‘If they did close the tube it would be a big problem for me, but you can’t just think about yourself in a time like this.’
Ernesta Juskatie, 38, a dental nurse revealed that she was taking the underground to get to work.
She added: ‘The practice where I work is still open, so I don’t have much choice. When I’m on the underground, I don’t sit, and I don’t touch anything. I know that might not be enough to stop me getting infected but I’m doing all that I can.
‘Personally, I hope they close the whole network down, except for those who really need to get to work, like NHS staff. That way I would have no choice but to stay at home.’
Kim Black, 48, a child protection social worker from Oxford said that she was taking the underground to Paddington to catch a train to her home.
She added: ‘This is my last day at work and then I’ll be working from home. I just came into London to collect a laptop from my work and sort out some paperwork.
‘It’s actually quite pleasant commuting from Oxford at the moment because normally, you don’t even get a seat. The underground needs to keep going; there needs to be an increased service, not a decreased one because there are a lot of people who still need to use it.’
Source: Daily Mail – Articles