TfL has busiest Monday in London since Covid pandemic began

·2-min read
Passengers on a Jubilee line Tube  (PA Wire)
Passengers on a Jubilee line Tube (PA Wire)

London saw its busiest day on public transport since the pandemic began on Monday.

TfL figures show that between 7am and 8am there were 277,000 tap-ins on the Tube and a further 332,000 entries between 8am and 9am.

The data shows Tube usage reached 50 per cent of the pre-pandemic level by the end of the day, in which many returned to offices for the first time in over a year.

Buses saw more than two-thirds of usual pre-pandemic passenger numbers - figures which have not been reached since March 2020.

Tuesday was even busier, with some 298,600 tap-ins on the Tube between 7 and 8am - up 33 per cent on last week. There were also 327,600 entries on buses in the same hour, up 73 per cent on last week.

It comes as vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said he wanted to "lead by example" in encouraging civil servants back to the workplace after he revealed that only a quarter of his team work in the office at any one time.

Mr Zahawi said that while all of his staff were back to working in Whitehall they operate on a rota system so just one in four are at their desks each day, with the rest carrying out their jobs from home.

Asked about how many of his own team had returned to office working, he told LBC radio: “People are coming back and my staff now, as of this month for example, have got something like 25 per cent permanently back in the office on a rota system - so all of them are back effectively.”

But he conceded his Department of Health and Social Care office space could “certainly” accommodate more in-person working.

“We continue to make sure we get people back as quickly as possible, as safely as possible, it is the right thing to do,” Mr Zahawi added.

“Look, we have to lead by example and I will take your message and personally make sure that we continue on with the staff, because it is important that people come back, and come back safely.”

Speaking on Monday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it was up to individual employers how staff returned, but emphasised there were benefits to workers being based in the same location.

“We’ve set out before there are significant benefits to people being able to work in the office,” he said.

“That’s why it is our approach that there is a gradual return to the workplace.

“Obviously, it’s down to individual employers working with their employees on what is the right balance for them.”

He added: “What we have seen within the Civil Service is people adhering to that guidance, which is a gradual return of people to the workplaces.

“And it’s worth reiterating that a significant proportion of civil servants were working throughout the pandemic.”

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