UK

London transport bosses say 90% of passengers ARE wearing face masks

Around 90 per cent of travellers in London are adhering to Covid rules and wearing face masks on public transport, Transport for London says.  

Data released by TfL shows some 1,700 people have been fined for not wearing face coverings in the seven months since they were made mandatory on the network.

These Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been as much as £660 for those convicted of a first offence, with one repeat offender having to pay a total of £1,170. 

However, TfL says it has seen ‘around 90 per cent compliance at the busiest times of the day,’ with only a minority of passengers ‘continuing to ignore the regulation and putting themselves and their fellow passengers at risk.’ 

It comes as the network yesterday urged major employers in East London including Amazon, Sainsbury’s and Wickes to stagger start times for workers in a bid to reduce overcrowding on the Tube.  

Use of public transport in London has plummeted since the pandemic hit in March, with TfL confirming on Monday it had seen 18 per cent of normal demand on the Tube up to 10am.     

Around 90 per cent of travellers in London are adhering to Covid rules and wearing face masks on public transport, Transport for London says. Pictured: British Transport Police at London Bridge station on January 15

Data released by TfL shows some 1,700 people have been fined for not wearing face coverings in the seven months since they were made mandatory on the network. Pictured: Canada Water Station on Tuesday

Data released by TfL shows some 1,700 people have been fined for not wearing face coverings in the seven months since they were made mandatory on the network. Pictured: Canada Water Station on Tuesday

Apple mobility data also suggests public transport use in London is down 65 per cent on a normal level, with the number of Britons driving also dropping 42 per cent. 

However, TfL said it has stopped around 128,000 people from boarding services until they put on a mask since July, with around 9,300 prevented from travelling and 2,100 ejected from services. 

Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance, Policing Operations and Security at TfL, said: ‘People should only be travelling if they have a legitimate reason and ensuring the network is safe for those customers, which include NHS and other key workers, is our top priority.

‘Wearing face coverings, unless exempt, has been mandatory for seven months now and we continue to communicate the requirement in stations, on platforms and on-board services, so there really is no excuse for not wearing one properly for your entire journey when travelling on our network. 

Use of public transport in London has plummeted since the pandemic hit Britain in March, with TfL confirming on Monday it had seen 18 per cent of normal demand on the Tube up to 10am. Pictured: Commuters on a Jubilee Line train on Tuesday

Use of public transport in London has plummeted since the pandemic hit Britain in March, with TfL confirming on Monday it had seen 18 per cent of normal demand on the Tube up to 10am. Pictured: Commuters on a Jubilee Line train on Tuesday

Apple mobility data suggests transit use in London is down 65 per cent on a normal level, with the number of Britons driving also dropping 42 per cent

‘London is at a critical point in this pandemic and this is no time to be complacent with the measures we take to protect ourselves and others.’

A survey by the network found 75 per cent of Londoners are supportive of TfL enforcing the use of face masks on public transport. 

The network has recently stepped up its enforcement of the rule, expanding its team of enforcement officers and handing out more fines to non-compliers.

It has added 500 enforcement officers to TfL staff who will ensure the public’s compliance with coronavirus safety regulations, alongside tackling aggression and fare evasion.

They will work with the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police and carry out enforcement operations every day across London.   

A survey by the network found 75 per cent of Londoners are supportive of TfL enforcing the use of face masks on public transport

A survey by the network found 75 per cent of Londoners are supportive of TfL enforcing the use of face masks on public transport

Analysis of CCTV footage shows the vast majority of passengers are wearing coverings inside stations, TfL said, unless they are exempt from doing so

Analysis of CCTV footage shows the vast majority of passengers are wearing coverings inside stations, TfL said, unless they are exempt from doing so

These are regularly undertaken at stations with low compliance, with an operation taking place near Walthamstow bus station yesterday morning. 

Chief Superintendent Martin Fry, of British Transport Police, said: ‘We operate across the rail, Tube and tram network in London daily, engaging with members of the public, explaining the current restrictions, encouraging compliance and where necessary issuing fines.

‘I’m pleased to say our frontline officers report the vast majority of people at stations and on-board trains are wearing face coverings, or are willing to wear one when challenged.

The network has recently stepped up its enforcement of the rule, expanding its team of enforcement officers and handing out more fines to non-compliers

The network has recently stepped up its enforcement of the rule, expanding its team of enforcement officers and handing out more fines to non-compliers

‘Coronavirus is a very real and present danger. Wearing a face mask on the rail network and abiding by the current restrictions is very important, it saves lives and ensures the railway is safe for those who absolutely need to use it, such as those who work in the NHS.

‘We’ll continue to fully support TfL and the wider rail industry.’

Under current coronavirus guidance, the Government asks Britons to stay at home where possible – except for to work, shop for essentials or to visit a support bubble.

TfL has urged Londoners to use footpaths and cycle paths where possible, or to travel at quieter times of the day to avoid being in contact with a high volume of people. 


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