In the Capital city, social distancing markers and hand sanitisers have been installed at the busiest taxi ranks, these will assist both taxi drivers and passengers in staying safe, enabling them to adhere to government guidelines.
As lockdown restrictions started to ease over the past month, shops, restaurants and pubs started to open throughout London. Andy Byford – Transport for London’s (TFL’s) new commissioner – saw some of the measures starting to take shape allowing the transport network to become cleaner than ever before.
After only recently taking up the position of London’s transport network, Byford joined Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, to oversee the deep cleaning work taking place at Southwark station ahead of its reopening on Monday. Some of the extensive range of cleaning and hygiene measures that have recently been introduced across the network include the following:
- Use of additional hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact, and offer protection for up to 30 days.
- More Frequent cleaning at key interchanges - including during the day.
- All regular 'touch point' areas on buses, such as poles and doors, being wiped down with a strong disinfectant every single day.
Alongside these safety measures, a new trial is currently underway making use of UV light to clean handrails on the escalators on the Tube network. The device used is connected to the escalator handrail and takes advantage of motion to power a UV bulb that breaks down surface contamination, ultimately sanitising the handrail. This will help benefit TfL’s extensive anti-viral cleaning programme. Once the benefits of this new technology have been assessed, it could be used more widely in the near future, if its proven to be successful.
Across the London network, new signage, posters and platforms stickers have been installed. This helps employees and passengers maintain social distancing rules, key to preventing the virus from spreading. Where required, one-way systems and queuing arrangements will be in use. Furthermore, 1,000 hand sanitising points have been installed across the large network.
London's Transport Commissioner, Andy Byford, said that: "A huge range of measures are in place across the transport network to ensure it is cleaner than ever [before], including the use of new hospital-grade substances, 1,000 hand sanitiser points, and a new trial of UV technology to sanitise hand rails. Other measures to keep people safe include social distancing signage and the mandatory wearing of face coverings.
"As customers continue to return in greater numbers as pandemic restrictions are gradually eased, there are some simple steps that everyone can take to ensure they stay safe. This includes travelling at quieter times, regular hand cleaning and staying alert to the latest Government advice. We all want London to continue to get back on its feet, and TfL is fully focussed on supporting this as we strive to make sure that customers and staff are safe."
Keeping customers and staff safe will no doubt be the top priority, especially in crowded spaces. Regardless, only those who must travel using the network should currently do so. This will help prevent a second wave of infections and keep lockdowns out of the picture moving forwards.