A NHS nurse today claimed his commute to work is getting ‘increasingly dangerous’ as he still faces crowded London Underground trains with Britain entering its fourth week of lockdown.
Michael Underwood slammed Transport for London and Mayor Sadiq Khan and compared his journey to ‘jumping off a cliff after it was revealed 18 TfL workers have died from coronavirus.
Commuters were pictured piling onto Tube trains at Canning Town this morning, standing less than six feet apart from one another in breach of social distancing rules.
Another horrified passenger also blasted Transport bosses for making key workers travel in ‘filthy’ conditions on the Piccadilly Line with seats covered in dust and dirt and ’15 people to a carriage’ at Action Town.
With rush-hour commutes already proving deadly, workers face an even more crowded transport network if the government decides to lift the UK lockdown on May 7.
Although ministers claim the public will ‘not go back to work until they are ready’ after Boris Johnson’s near-fatal battle with the virus, workers may be forced to travel in crowded Tube carriages while death rates are still high.
Commuters are pictured crowded onto the platform at Canning Town Tube station in east London as they return to work after the Easter weekend
NHS nurse Michael Underwood (pictured left) slammed Transport for London and Mayor Sadiq Khan and compared his journey to ‘jumping off a cliff, while another key worker slammed transport bosses for dirty Tube trains
A Jubilee Line Underground train is pictured crowded with people unable to keep to social distancing rules because of the confined space
Commuters pile onto a Jubilee Line train at Canning Town in east London on Tuesday morning
As the UK enters its fourth week of lockdown, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has stepped in for the PM, is set to extend social distancing measures until May 7 – if not later.
But the Government is divided on whether to ease the lockdown in three weeks, with some saying the public is obeying social distancing too well and must be urged to keep working where possible for the good of the economy.
Although some argue it would be impossible to get people to go back to work as Britons would simply refuse to go back to normal with cases so prevalent still, there are tens of thousands who would have no choice.
It leaves many London workers terrified of the prospect of commuting again and Tube and bus drivers scared of increased passenger numbers should the government lift restrictions.
Slamming the state of Piccadilly Line trains this morning, one key worker raged: ‘Absolutely filthy trains. Have they ever been cleaned especially in this current pandemic?? Us key workers need to get to work not in this filth!! Shame on you. Get them cleaned.’
A TfL social media spokesman insisted that trains are cleaned regularly across the entire London Underground network.
But the commuter slammed the transport authority again claiming there is ‘no social distancing on the Piccadilly Line from Acton Town’.
They added: ’15 people to a carriage. Put on more frequent trains. Us key workers need to get to work on time. There needs to be inspectors to stop overcrowding on the trains.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has come under fire for failing to protect bus and train drivers across the capital, by not offering to provide them with any personal protective equipment (PPE) and putting their lives at risk.
Yesterday TfL announced 18 of its key worker employees had died, including 12 bus drivers. One posted a tearful online video plea to the Mayor, begging him to save hers and her colleagues’ lives.
Meanwhile Britons continued to flout the government’s coronavirus restrictions by sunbathing on beaches and lounging in parks over the Bank Holiday, but now face at least another three weeks of shutdown.
Several people are seen without facemasks boarding a DLR train at Canning Town in east London this morning
Tube platform in east London shows people failing to meet social distancing rules
At yesterday’s Downing Street press conference, the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the coming week will be ‘difficult’ in terms of number of deaths.
He said he expects the daily numbers, which surpassed 10,000 on Sunday, to increase before they plateau, continue to plateau for some time and then, eventually, fall.
Yesterday there had been 11,329 deaths reported in hospitals nationwide, but experts and carers warned the number could be twice as high, with many dying outside hospital – at home and in care homes.
Today a transport union leader said that bus drivers handling cash at work is a ‘killer’.
Bobby Morton told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I’m hearing, on an hourly, daily basis, horrific stories. I’ve already received three calls this morning from drivers who are absolutely terrified for their lives.
‘They’re sitting at the sharp end, they’re dealing with cash, particularly in the North West, and the virus can be passed on to them in a second, the virus is so quiet you do not hear it.’
Seats on the Piccadilly Line in west London are pictured covered in dust and dirt this morning, with key workers slamming conditions
He added: ‘It’s OK saying ‘wash your hands regularly in hot water’ – if there are no facilities to do it, you don’t do it.’
Mr Morton said all of the measures being implemented ‘merely reduce the risk’ when ‘the risk should be eradicated, not reduced’.
On the use of cash, he said: ‘I keep harping on everywhere I go about this function of handling cash – it is a killer – and I can only speak for myself, if I were in a cab I wouldn’t be touching any money whatsoever. I’m not advising drivers to do that, that’s my opinion.’
Mr Khan, whose father worked as bus driver, described the situation as ‘deeply personal’, saying: ‘It breaks my heart that 18 transport workers, including 12 London bus workers, have tragically died from Covid-19.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones at this very difficult time. This is deeply personal – I can’t help but think that this could have been my dad or his colleagues and friends. I am doing everything I can to keep transport workers and passengers safe.’
He claimed TfL has put more anti-viral cleaning measures in place across the network and applied protective film to bus drivers’ perspex screens to cover up any holes.
One Jubilee Line train is seen with passengers sitting one seat apart – but still not six feet – as advised by the government
A Jubilee Line train is pictured on Tuesday morning with many passengers wearing masks but unable to stand far enough apart from one another to stay safe