Welcome Back London: Sadiq Khan launches massive campaign to get people back on the Tube

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Transport for London on Monday launched its biggest campaign since the 2012 Olympics to encourage passengers to return to the Tube and bus network.

The “Welcome back London” campaign aims to remind Londoners what they have missed over the last 16 months to encourage them to start enjoying their city again.

But Mayor Sadiq Khan urged people to behave “responsibly” and issued a reminder that face masks remain compulsory on all TfL services.

The campaign, which includes a TV advert and poster campaign, adapts the Tube roundel and destination boards on the front of buses to highlight reasons to explore the city, from dinner date and shopping to nights at the theatre.

Brixton becomes “Going Out Out”, Shepherd’s Bush – home to Westfield – becomes “Retail Therapy”, Leicester Square is “Opening Night” and Hyde Park Corner is “Here Comes The Summer”.

Mr Khan, who was visiting Bond Street station and the John Lewis store on Oxford Street on Monday, said: “Today’s full re-opening of the capital’s culture, hospitality and night-time economy venues is an important step, but I urge all Londoners and visitors to enjoy themselves carefully and responsibly.

“This includes continuing to follow the rules and wear a face covering for the duration of their journey on TfL services. By keeping face masks mandatory it will provide an extra layer of protection and reassurance.”

City Hall says that 68 per cent of Londoners support retaining compulsory rules on face masks, despite them only being advised on public transport at busy times by the Government.

TfL says 60 per cent of its usual customer base is now travelling – about 2.44 million passengers. Tube ridership at around 40-45 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and bus ridership at around 60-65 per cent.

However, while weekend visitor numbers to central London are at around 75 per cent compared to 2019, weekday visitors are only at 54 per cent.

TfL commissioner Andy Byford said: “I am extremely grateful to the overwhelming majority of our customers who have complied with the requirement to wear a face covering and this remains compulsory when travelling on the TfL network.

 (PA)
(PA)

“As more people return to public transport following step four of the Government’s plan, this will continue to help build confidence and enable people to get back to the many wonderful things about London that we have all missed during the pandemic.

Karen Lord, head of branch at John Lewis Oxford Street, said: “ We still have measures in place like sanitising stations and are recommending that people wear face masks in our stores (except those exempt) so shoppers can enjoy their visit in the confidence that their safety remains our absolute priority.”

Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, said: “Attractions will still be maintaining many of their previous social distancing and other mitigation measures, like TfL, for the safety and reassurance of their staff and visitors.”

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