‘Too many people are not staying at home’: Sadiq Khan pleads with Londoners amid coronavirus lockdown

London mayor’s comments come following footage of crowded tube platform

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 01 April 2020 15:42
Sadiq Khan says 'too many people are not staying at home' after images emerge of overcrowded London tube station

Sadiq Khan has pleaded with Londoners to stay at home after alarming new pictures emerged of crowded Tube platforms.

The mayor of London said there were still too many people refusing to abide by the coronavirus lockdown rules after he was shown footage of central line passengers cramming onto the platform at North Acton station on Tuesday.

Mr Khan reiterated his call for people to travel only if absolutely necessary and to do so outside of the rush hour.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There is a concern that still too many people who really, really should not be going to work are using public transport during the rush hour and the key message is unless you really have to get to work, work from home, and if you do have to go into work, please avoid the rush hour.”

Mr Khan said a “large number” of Transport for London staff are “self-isolating or sick with Covid-19”.

But, he added, London has about 90 per cent of buses – more than 8,000 on more than 600 routes – still running to take critical workers to work.

And 55 per cent of trains on lines run by TfL are running during rush hour.

Mr Khan said there had been a 94 per cent reduction in Tube use on Tuesday compared to the same day in 2019 and an 85 per cent reduction in bus use.

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan branded the scenes at North Acton a “death trap” as he showed the ITV footage to Mr Khan on Wednesday morning.

The clip shows a crowd of passengers emerging from the carriages of one train, before crossing to the other side of the platform to wait for another.


A row erupted between the government and Mr Khan over Tube service levels last week after pictures emerged of crowded train carriages despite prime minister Boris Johnson imposing a UK lockdown.

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick insisted more Tube trains should be running to prevent NHS workers travelling “cheek by jowl” with others during the coronavirus outbreak.

His comments came following health secretary Matt Hancock’s claim there was “no good reason” why timetables had been cut.

But Mr Khan said growing numbers of TfL staff off sick or self-isolating meant more services could not be run.

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