Londoners want clarity over public transport message to continue to travel

Around 16% of commuters in London will avoid public transport for the foreseeable future with 22% will work from home on a regular basis, according to a survey by business campaign group, London First.

Around a quarter (24%) of Londoners plan to use the tube, while 21% say they will use buses, a figure that is down from 36% and 32% respectively before the lockdown.

Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of London First, said: “Many Londoners will need reassurance before getting back on public transport. Among the measures that would help passengers feel more confident in the safety of the network are, caps on numbers, increased cleaning and the use of face coverings. Employers will also need to be flexible about work times and take steps to provide safe working environments for those staff who do return to work. We need a clear package of measures and absolute clarity on who can travel and at what time if we are to get London back on its feet quickly.”

From June 22, drivers entering the capital will have to pay £15 rather than £11.50 per day including weekends, rather than just on weekdays as current rules state. 

But here is no single measure that would boost confidence in people returning to public transport, London First has found. The survey reveals a range of measures will be needed to improve public confidence in the transport network. A third of respondents say increased deep cleaning (33%) is in their top three measures to improve confidence, whilst a third also said extensive contact tracing (33%) and mandatory face masks (33%). Caps on numbers using public transport at any one time (35%) and sanitiser available as standard (32%) would also help reassure passengers. Just over a quarter (27%) of Londoners also think there should be changes to office hours to offset traditional peak travel, which could reduce congestion and have an impact on air quality.

London First is calling for absolute clarity and consistency of message between central government, London government and Transport for London, to reduce the risk of over-crowding at peak times.


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