A daily list of the 20 “hotspot” bus, Tube and railway stations to avoid at peak times was issued today as London’s great back-to-work accelerated.
The early-morning rush hour was markedly busier than last week, with passenger levels up from just five per cent during lockdown to around eight or 10 per cent.
Police and marshals were on duty at some stations to prevent overcrowding on platforms. Other measures included one-way lanes in interchanges, hundreds of hand sanitiser dispensers, and posters urging people to wear masks and keep two metres apart.
The capital’s biggest stations including King’s Cross were almost deserted as passengers slipped through without congestion. But at interchanges and smaller stations there were reports of passengers being kept waiting and of social distancing rules being compromised.
Transport for London issued an appeal for people to avoid the rush hours if they can, saying the worst times to travel were 5.45am until 8.15am in the morning and 4pm to 5.30pm in the afternoon.
TfL said it would update regularly its list of stations to avoid by walking an extra mile or changing route.
Today’s list was
- East Ham
- Canada Water
- Canary Wharf London Underground (LU)
- Canning Town
- Clapham Junction
- East Croydon
- Lewisham DLR
- Liverpool Street LU
- London Bridge LU
- North Acton
- Seven Sisters
- Walthamstow Central
- West Croydon
- West Ham
- Wood Green
- and Woolwich Arsenal.
TfL said it was aiming to put on 75 per cent of normal Tube services and 85 per cent of bus services, but warned that capacity will be a tiny fraction of the normal four million passengers a day because of the two-metre restriction.
Many early-morning passengers said they were pleasantly surprised by the ease of their journey. Victor Stringer, 69, returning to his home in Peterborough from his job managing a residential building of mostly older residents in Mayfair, said: “It’s been so quiet, I could almost have realised my boyhood dream of riding up front with the driver.”
Mr Stringer said he was pleased the lockdown was being lifted, adding: “I want to see Britain get back to normal. The social distancing message does seem to be working — the buses are very busy but most people are trying very hard to give people space.”
Staff at Clapham Junction said crowd control barriers were not required this morning as there was no noticeable increase in travel.
Commuter Daniel Croft, 37, who travels twice a week from his home in Darlington to London King’s Cross, said: “The trains have been completely empty.”