Worrying figures show the number of people travelling on the London Underground compared to first lockdown – MyLondon



A lot more Londoners are using the Tube in this lockdown compared to the first lockdown in March, data shows.

4.9 million entries and exits were made on the Tube from Monday January 4 to Thursday January 7, over 2 million more than in the first four days of the lockdown in March , when the figure was 2.89 million.

The situation on buses is very similar: 7.52 million travelled on London buses in the same four day period in January, nearly 2 million more than in the four days in March (5.54 million).

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Passenger numbers on the Tube dropped quite abruptly when lockdown was announced in March, dropping from 1.13 million on Monday, March 23 to 720,000 on Tuesday, March 24.

Journeys on the Tube did decrease across the recent four days of data this January, but by nowhere near as much. Monday, January 4 recorded the most of the four days with 1.28 million entries and exits (around 650,000 journeys). The least were recorded on Thursday, January 8, but this had only dropped to 1.19 million. By contrast with the first lockdown, it had dropped to 490,000 by Thursday, March 26.

650,000 journeys may sound like a lot, and while we are being urged to stay at home and avoid using public transport where possible, some would argue it is. But this number is still just 19 per cent of pre-pandemic demand (bus numbers on the same day were 36 per cent of pre-pandemic demand).

During the first lockdown, Transport for London said both the Tube and buses were seeing less than 10 per cent of normal demand. In the second lockdown in November, this was around 25 per cent on the Tube and 45 per cent on buses.

“So, the numbers we have right now are clearly in the middle,” a TfL spokesperson said, “That makes sense as people are allowed to do more now than they were in March last year, with support bubbles and caring considerations.”

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But lockdown restrictions could get tougher, professors and politicians have warned, banning support bubbles and removing this as a reasonable excuse for travel.

And while there are a number of legitimate reasons for people to continue to use the network, Londoners are still urged to avoid any unnecessary travel, as Covid-19 cases surge across the capital and the entire country.

The NHS faces the “most dangerous situation” in living memory, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has warned, with record deaths and hospital admissions as a result of the disease.

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Oxygen is being rationed and patients are being treated in ambulances, NHS staff have told MyLondon, while even non-vulnerable patients in their twenties are becoming critically unwell and dying.

Sadiq Khan declared a major incident in the capital on Friday (January 9), while ten out of 32 London boroughs sit in the top 25 for worst Covid case rates in England.

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