HERO NHS workers have today accused Sadiq Khan of “risking lives” after he put on a reduced service resulting in carriages once again being packed.
Pictures taken this morning show workers crammed on the capital’s transport network with key workers waiting 20 minutes for a full train to arrive.
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The London Underground was once again packed this morning[/caption]
A carriage on the Central Line was completely full on Wednesday morning[/caption]
Carriages on the Central Line and Northern Line were completely full with people sitting and standing next to each other – potentially spreading coronavirus which has claimed 422 lives in the UK.
Mr Khan is facing fury over his decision to run a reduced service and is accused of “herding” workers into packed buses and the Underground.
NHS workers have today claimed they are more concerned about travelling to work than treating Covid-19 patients in hospital.
Barry Trimble said: “On my way to look after immune compromised cancer patients to make sure that they get their chemotherapy.
“The tube is packed with social distancing impossible Pouting face get your s*** together TFL.
“We need more people to stay at home and more trains running in morning and evening peak.”
Key worker Tony Drew added: “No-one is listening to you and don’t need to reduce the service as much as you have.
“You need to get more trains on and stop putting the lives of key workers like me at risk.”
Commuters also accused the Mayor of “risking lives” and urged him to rethink his strategy.
One said: “You are herding key workers into a smaller space. Your decision is a difficult one but is directly risking lives. Please rethink this for our health workers so they can at least feel safe going to work.”
Another NHS worker added: “Please sort the tubes out, this is risking lives. Emergency workers have to use TFL! Help now.”
NHS sonographer Nicola Smith tweeted: “I love my job, but now I’m risking my health just on the journey in?! @SadiqKhan put the tube service back to normal so we can all spread out, or @BorisJohnson start policing who’s getting on. Help me!
“I worry for my health more on my commute than actually being in the hospital.”
The issue sparked a fierce exchange between Mr Khan and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who demanded more trains be put on to prevent crammed carriages.
Mr Hancock said there is “no good reason” for the Tube to be packed after Mr Khan refused to increase train services.
Speaking at last night’s press conference, he said: “There is no good reason in the information I’ve seen that the current levels of Tube provision should be as low as they are.
“We should have more Tube trains running.”
It came on the same day Mr Khan was asked by Charlotte Hawkins on GMB if he would “reconsider” the decision to cut services over the outbreak.
Mr Khan doubled down on reducing the number of Tubes, revealing 20 per cent of TFL were now sick and insisting people should not be leaving home anyway.
He said: “The reason why public transport is still running is to enable key workers to get to work and back home.
“Those people who can’t work from home – nurses, clinicians,police officers, fire fighters.
“The other point I would make, we have more than 20 per cent in TFL sick or self isolating, and these include critical staff who we need to ensure it runs safely.
“My message is don’t use public transport unless you really really need to go to work if you really have to – do not use rush hour.”
He explained they couldn’t add more trains anyway because of the shortages.
Mr Khan said: “We simply can’t run Tubes that are unsafe.
“That 20 per cent of sickness/self-isolating include critical staff who we need to ensure transport runs well.
“Some people on the Tube today and yesterday aren’t essential, and that’s why I have been concerned about the mixed messages and lack of clarity.”
TFL said the crisis is actually even worse than Mr Khan said, with around 30 per cent of Tube staff not working due to sickness or self-isolation.
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Vernon Everitt, TfL’s Managing Director of Customers, Communication and Technology, said: “Everyone must follow the Government and Mayor’s orders to stay at home and only travel if absolutely necessary.
“Only critical workers should be using public transport and no one else. Ignoring these orders will put lives at risk.
“We will continue to run as much of a Tube service as we possibly can so that those critical NHS staff and other workers can get to work, but as our staff themselves fall ill or have to self-isolate we are simply not able to run a full service.
“The majority of people are playing their part and avoiding travel, but more people need to stop travelling immediately to save lives.”
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