East Londoners advised to plan ahead for journeys throughout festive period
- Credit: TfL
Transport for London (TfL) has advised customers across it's network to plan ahead for any journeys planned throughout the festive period as there are a number of improvement works taking place.
Although Christmas will be very different this year with London under Tier 3 restrictions, most of the TfL transport network will be operating as usual over the festive period.
However there are planned closures on TfL Rail starting on Christmas Eve through January 3.
The closures are so that platforms could be extended at Liverpool Street station to accommodate for longer trains.
TfL Rail Operations Director Howard Smith told this paper: "Due to London being in the highest level of the government's coronavirus restrictions we are advising people to minimise travel where possible.
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"People have been taking that advice already and we've seen our usage across TfL Rail drop to 40-50pc of regular usage at this period and we expect that to go down even further.
"However for anyone who needs to travel during the festive period we are asking them to check before they travel."
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TfL is doing its part to keep London moving throughout December by running most of its services and only carrying out safety-critical works on the road and Underground networks.
This means that, in line with Government’s guidance, Londoners will be able to use the network to visit friends and family in their Christmas bubbles on every day between December 23 and December 27, apart from Christmas Day.
Public transport is likely to be busy throughout the day on December 23 and 27 at public transport interchanges and National Rail stations, so customers are advised to plan ahead and avoid peak times. Roads are likely to be busy throughout the bubble period, especially between December 24-26.
Passengers making long-distance journeys are asked to follow Network Rail advice on planning ahead and pre booking their journeys.
Full details of the travel options and closures are on TfL’s website – tfl.gov.uk/christmas-travel – allowing customers to plan their journeys throughout the period.
TfL has also published information about quiet stations and stops at tfl.gov.uk/quiet-times to help people travel through London during the quieter times and help maintain social distancing.
An enhanced cleaning regime on London's transport network continues to make the network cleaner than ever.
Trains and stations are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing protection.
Recent independent testing, carried out by Imperial College London, has found no trace of coronavirus on the Tube and bus network for the third month in a row.
Extensive signage is in place on trains, trams, buses, platforms and stations, reminding those who need to make a journey to socially distance.
TfL's enforcement staff and its police partners are actively enforcing the national requirement for everyone to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while in a station or travelling on public transport, unless they are exempt.
The vast majority of customers have been complying with this requirement with compliance at around 90 per cent across the network.
The police and TfL's enforcement officers are working hard to ensure that the minority who are not complying are targeted, and if necessary, refused entry to the network and fined.
Andy Byford, London's Transport Commissioner, said: “We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of coronavirus and, as the Government’s latest rules state, this includes trying to reduce journeys during this period of enhanced restrictions.
“Our staff will be doing everything they can to make sure those needing to travel will still be able to do so safely – by continuing to run a normal service, enforcing the use of face coverings and keeping the network cleaner than ever.
“Please consider walking or cycling, or plan ahead for the quiet times and routes on public transport. Everyone must continue to take the simple steps of good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering and social distancing wherever possible.”