NHS staff have described their congested commutes to work on public transport as ‘unsafe’ and ‘unfair’, as hordes of non-essential workers continue to ignore Government advice to stay home.
Although far fewer people are now relying on public transport, reduced services across the country has meant some lines still experience overcrowding. Trains in major UK cities, including London and Birmingham, are running at roughly half their normal capacity.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that a third of Transport for London staff are off sick or self-isolating, and 500 transport police officers are now working across the network to help manage the flow of people.
This is going well @centralline @TfL. I can’t believe that anyone on this train is choosing to go to work. That was at Leytonstone. pic.twitter.com/SSF7EqYEzc
— George Mann (@sgfmann) March 23, 2020
On Monday, prime minister Boris Johnson ordered a nationwide lockdown, demanding that non-essential workers only leave the house for food, health reasons and one form of exercise a day.
The rules do, however, allow non-essential employees to travel to work ‘provided they cannot work from home’.
NHS staff and unions have been calling for more to be done to ensure the lockdown restrictions are fully observed.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘Tubes, trains and buses are rammed with passengers, including health and care staff. It’s essential they can get to work without putting their lives and those of patients and the people they care for at risk.’
Yesterday, a senior nurse named Danny posted on Twitter:
Another busy tube. Can we not stagger people’s start times so we aren’t all squashed on the same tube! This is unsafe and not fair!
— Danny (@PaedsNurseDanny) March 25, 2020