Young men least likely to wear face masks on London Tube and buses, TfL chief says

  • london
  • December 9, 2020
  • Comments Off on Young men least likely to wear face masks on London Tube and buses, TfL chief says

Y

oung men are the least likely to comply with the requirement to wear a face mask on the Tube and buses, London’s transport chief revealed today.

Transport for London commissioner Andy Byford said mask-wearing was “generally very high” with only three per cent of passengers not complying with the rules.

But he said that TfL patrols “have noticed that young men travelling on our network are least likely to comply with the use of face coverings on public transport”.

As a result, TfL is running adverts on radio stations with younger listeners, such as Capital FM and Heart, and on Spotify to “to help change behaviours and encourage compliance”, Mr Byford told today’s meeting of the TfL board.

It has been mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport since June 15, with people who fail to comply at risk of being prevented from travelling and being issued with a £100 fine.

TfL began enforcing the rules on July 4 after a “period of engagement and education”.

Surveys have found that 93 per cent of customers say they are always wearing face coverings on TfL services, four per cent are wearing it on some journeys and three per cent not at all.

Of those not wearing a face covering at all times or not at all, about 75 per cent claim to have an exemption.

TfL said today that younger people made up the biggest group of passengers not following the rules, and that 70 per cent of penalties had been issued to men.

In the period to November 25, TfL officers have spoken to 122,221 passengers, refused access to 8,739 to travel and issued 873 Fixed Penalty Notices, of which 316 of these have been paid within 14 days (at £100) and 16 were paid within 28 days (at £200).

Siwan Hayward, director of compliance, policing operations and security at TfL, said: “To help protect everyone’s health and control the spread of the virus, it is essential that people wear face coverings. It is also hugely important for giving Londoners confidence to travel.  

“The vast majority of customers are protecting others by wearing a face covering properly unless they are exempt, and most people are very responsive when they are spoken to and will put one on or adjust it. But sadly, there is a selfish minority who are showing a complete disregard for everyone around them and who think it is ok to ignore the law.  

“It is those individuals our enforcement officers and the police are targeting through our enforcement operations, which are taking place on buses, trains and stations across London at all times of day.  My message to these individuals is: you will be caught and face a hefty fine or prosecution.

“We would rather people were sensible and follow the law, but we will take enforcement action when we need to.”