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TSSA Calls For Police Deployment At London Stations

24 March 2020

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes has called for police to be deployed at all main London stations - including Underground, Overground and railway interchanges - to ensure passengers on the city's public transport network are only those providing vital services.

The move follows reports of busy Tube trains for the second successive day. It comes after Boris Johnson’s Coronavirus ‘Lockdown’ address the country, and this morning London Mayor, Sadiq Khan suggesting police could be used to enforce measures. 

Cortes, the transport and travel union boss, commented: “Sadly the situation on the London Underground has not improved. We urgently need British Transport Police and other officers at major stations across London’s transport network to ensure only those with a valid reason to travel are doing so in this emergency. 

“I agree with Sadiq Khan that vital services and frontline workers must be protected, the alternative is people will die in greater numbers. That can’t be allowed to happen and only government has the power to enforce what’s needed. 

“TfL and other transport staff need assistance in keeping the capital moving for those who go to work to save lives.  

“Ministers must come forward today with a package of measures guaranteeing the income of workers in the gig economy, the self-employed and freelancers. That will go a long way to reducing the numbers who feel they have no choice but to travel to work. 

“Let us not forget also that due to decades of cuts the cover for those falling ill on London Underground has been drastically reduced. TfL could not run a full service even if it wanted to as a number of staff needed to run trains are either infected, or in self-isolation, and this will only get worse as the virus spreads. 

“Public services – and those who work across them – are vital services. That is a lesson all governments must learn in the coming years.” 

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