What You Should Know About Commuting Safely

What You Should Know About Commuting Safely

Don’t get us wrong – we wouldn’t choose a global pandemic or national lockdown for all the tea in China, but it did have some upsides… not having to commute being one of them. If you’re back to your daily routine and plan on heading into the capital, knowing your journey is the safest it can be is bound to boost your confidence. Here’s the vital information you need to know before setting off…

On The Train

According to the official advice from Transport for London (TfL) you must wear a face covering, over your nose and mouth, for the full duration of your journey while on the public transport network. If you don’t, you could be denied travel or receive a minimum £100 fine which will double each time you’re caught, up to £3,200. If possible, consider travelling at quiet times when there is more space and use online travel tools for the latest information. If there are significant delays, consider other routes, or walk or cycle where possible. It’s also worth knowing TfL has installed hand sanitiser stations across more than 1,000 public transport hubs, including rail and bus stations – in case you’re ever caught short. 

For more information click here.

On The Tube

Most tube and DLR stations are now only accepting contactless or Oyster cards to pay for travel, and at some stations, you might find there will be queuing or one-way systems in place. When waiting for a train, try to spread out along the platform and when the train arrives, wait for others to get off before you get on. On the train, sit apart from others when you can (except for people from the same household) and ensure you maintain social distancing where possible, including at busy entrances, exits, under canopies or outside stations. Avoid travelling at peak times and try not to touch your face. Travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them and touch as few surfaces as possible. Avoid loud talking, shouting or singing, and consider waiting for the next service if you think you can’t board safely. Try not to consume food or drink during the journey and, as always, be aware of pregnant, older and disabled people who may require a seat or extra space. Remember, not all disability is visible, and some people may be exempt from wearing a face covering. Finally, if you're travelling late at night, there is currently no Night Tube or Night Overground.

For more information click here.

On The Bus

Because all buses in London are cash-free, you will need to have an Oyster card, contactless payment, a bus and tram pass, a paper Travelcard or Freedom Pass to travel. There have also been a range of new safety improvements installed, including driver screens to help keep you and the drivers safe. Eventually, this should mean the system reverts back to front-door boarding for London buses (at the moment passengers are asked to board via the back door). Currently, buses with front-door boarding have maximum capacity limits, so you may be refused entry. Once on board, either touch your card or payment device on the yellow reader or show your ticket or pass to the driver. If you’re waiting at a bus stop and the bus drives past, it is likely it has reached capacity. If the bus does stop, but is near capacity, the driver will only allow one person to board for every person that gets off. You may need to allow extra time and be prepared to wait. Try to travel before the last service of the day to avoid the risk of the last bus being full.

For more information click here.

If you don’t wear a face covering on public transport, you could be denied travel or receive a minimum £100 fine.

By Car

TfL recommends all customers using taxis and private hire vehicles should use a face covering for the duration of all journeys. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse you if you do not wear one. The risk of transmission is small at two metres and where possible, you should maintain the appropriate distance. If you cannot keep a two-metre distance, reduce the risk by maintaining a one-metre distance and taking the right precautions. Always follow the advice of the driver. For example, you may be asked to sit in the back left-hand seat if travelling alone. You may want to check with your taxi or private hire operator before travelling if they have put any additional measures in place. When you’ve finished your journey, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible. 

Official advice says you should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or support bubble. If you need to do this, try to share with the same people each time, keeping to small groups, opening windows for ventilation, travelling side by side or behind other people and maximising the distance between people in the vehicle. Always clean the car between journeys and ask the driver and other passengers to wear a face covering.

If you are driving yourself, plan ahead. Statistics estimate the quietest times on roads are currently between 10am and 3pm and after 7pm on weekdays, and before 10am and after 6pm on weekends. Always take extra care, as more people are walking and cycling nowadays. Limit the time you spend at garages, petrol stations and motorway services. Try to keep your distance from other people and if possible, pay by contactless payment. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands often, and always when exiting or re-entering your car.

For more information click here.

By Foot & Bike

For the safest commuting option of all, walk or  cycle  if you can. Not only will it reduce your risk of contamination, it will also reduce pressure on the public transport and road network. Logging onto your local council website can help you plan your journey – it's where you'll find maps and other resources showing dedicated paths and routes. Where possible, keep a suitable distance from other people, for example, when waiting at crossings and traffic lights. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands before and after. Finally, consider making a list of items to take with you so you’re never caught out.

For more information click here.

Getting ready? Here are the top rules for safe travel…

  • Plan your journey in advance and, where possible, travel when it is quiet.

  • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth, unless you are exempt for age, health or accessibility reasons.

  • Maintain social distancing where possible.

  • Follow signs, listen to announcements and pay attention to staff.

  • Wash your hands before and after your journey.

  • Carry hand sanitiser or use sanitiser points at stations.

  • Use contactless or Oyster to pay for your travel.

  • Follow government advice for safer travel and check the safer travel information sheet.

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