London Mayor Hits Back, Says Tube Trains Running At Maximum Despite Govt Criticism

UK News

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the London Mayor should elevate the number of tubes in the underground network so people follow social-distancing.

Written By Zaini Majeed | Mumbai | Updated On:
London mayor

London's Mayor Sadiq Khan reportedly hit back at government criticism over the capital's tube network running packed amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He lashed out saying that the Transport for London (TFL) was operating the maximum of tube services it can while maintaining safety, however, people weren’t following the rules. 

Speaking to a local news outlet, Sadiq clarified that London was roughly operating 55% of the tube trains in response to the allegation that London Transport reduced service that led the population to violate social-distancing protocols. Images of London's tube services circulated yesterday depicting crowded trains, despite the virtual lockdown imposed by the government. 

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock had earlier on March 24, said at a press briefing, that the Mayor should elevate the number of tubes in the underground network that would allow the public to adhere to government's COVID-19 containment measure. Sadiq, in response to the comments, told the news outlet that trains were at their maximum, only people weren’t following instructions. He added saying that today, however, the tubes have seen about an 85% dip in the number of passengers. 

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Blame game

Hancock told the government's daily at the COVID-19 press briefing that TFL should have the tube running in full so that people travelling on the tube spaced out further apart, obeying the two-meter rule as best possible. There was no reason convincing enough, for the information he had seen, that the current levels of tube provision should have been so low, health secretary regretted. There should have more tube trains running, he was quoted saying. 

Khan denounced the "blame game played" by Hancock, speaking with the local news, saying that "heroic" work was carried out by TFL members, citing the enormous work pressure due to staff shrinkage. He said that TFL's imagery was being tainted due to such allegations. About a third of TFL staff were off work due to the pandemic, he said, while maximum members were self-isolating. He further added saying that TFL was running the maximum service they could with meager staff at this moment. 

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