London coronavirus: Tube stations to close if lockdown imposed

TfL has drawn up plans to potentially close Tube stations if a local lockdown is imposed in “hotspot” areas in London.

The revelation comes after London’s transport commissioner said a search for Covid on the Tube has failed to find any evidence of the virus.

Researchers from Imperial College have been commissioned by Transport for London to test for the presence of coronavirus across the London Underground.

TfL commissioner Andy Byford said they had “done a number of samples and can’t find any [evidence of the virus], which is good”.

This Is Local London: People in London have been told: 'We are ready when you are'People in London have been told: ‘We are ready when you are’

In a direct message to Londoners considering getting back on the Tube, he said: “We are ready when you are ready.

“The system is safe.

“We encourage people to use it.”

Mr Byford urged Londoners not to believe “urban myths about how packed it is” and to be willing to return to the Tube, and to consider travelling off-peak, when it was easiest to socially distance.

Mr Byford revealed he had stood “shoulder to shoulder” with TfL staff on the frontline to ensure passengers wore masks. 

This Is Local London: Andy ByfordAndy Byford

He said: “We are doing our damnedest to ensure the system is ready. It’s clean. It’s enforced.

“It’s socially distanced.

“We are making it as attractive as possible to future riders.”

But he said TfL had drawn up plans to potentially close Tube stations if a local lockdown was imposed on “hotspot” areas in the capital.

“We have looked at what the impact of a second lockdown would be across London, and also we have modelled what the impact would be of local lockdowns in clusters around the city. We have plans to address those.

“We would have to make operational plans to selectively potentially close Tube stations. That would add to our financial woes were that to happen again.”

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