Following a successful trial, Transport for London (TfL) buses in London will temporarily become middle door only boarding from Monday 20 April until further notice as part of efforts to help combat coronavirus. This change will further improve safety for bus drivers, enabling better social distancing while the city is fighting the virus.
The change to boarding will provide better protection for drivers, who are playing a vital role in helping other critical workers, like doctors and nurses, to tackle the virus. The safety enhancement follows a trial on nine routes to ensure that it was safe for all.
Together with the Mayor, TfL have repeatedly reminded members of the public that travel on public transport is only for critical workers making absolutely essential journeys. This has seen the number of people on buses plummet by around 85 per cent.
The new operation of buses builds on the enhanced social distancing measures already introduced following close work with the trade union, Unite. These include signage asking passengers not to sit in the seats near the driver’s cab, improvements to the protective screen that shields drivers, and regular announcements to reinforce the need to keep a safe space from others.
TfL have also introduced a rigorous cleaning regime to kill the virus across services using new, anti-viral fluid in stations, depots, bus garages, trains and on buses, including the driver’s cab.
During the period of these temporary arrangements where passengers enter through the middle-doors, they will not be required to touch in. Customers should not approach the card reader near the driver’s cab. These arrangements will be kept under review and will need to be adjusted as the Government begins to review the travel restrictions now in place across the country.