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Sadiq Khan LIVE: Huge Covid breakthrough as ‘no traces’ of virus found on TFL

Sadiq Khan grilled by London Assembly over his ‘failures’

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The Mayor of London and the Transport for London Commissioner Andy Byford have faced questions on the key challenges facing TFL in this Mayoralty, including the capital’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. During the session it was revealed that independent checks by Imperial College London have found no traces of Covid on London’s transport.

The checks were carried out as part of TFL’s bid to encourage more people to use public transport again.

Mr Byford said: “We are doing a threefold approach to make sure that customers have confidence to use the system so its cleaner that it’s ever been.

“In addition to that we have had imperial college to independent checks of touch points and air systems, and they have not found a single trace of Covid.

“It needs to be orderly and although it’s more of a challenge to get people to use face masks we do say to people if you are riding public transport you need to wear a face mask.”

At the heart of the Mayor’s plans is the aim to encourage up to 80 percent of all trips in the capital to be made on foot, by cycle of public transport by 2041.

The first of these policies, the Walking action plan, is aimed at making London the world’s most walkable city, with a target to increase the number of walking trips by more than one million a day by 2024.

A report published by Assembly Member Zack Polanski found, in just one week, 242,574 journeys were taken on bikes in the central cycle hire zones.

Zack’s report suggest that revaluating cycling potential in London will carry forward the ‘climate positive behaviours’ seen in the past year.

Currently, the cycle hire scheme makes up as much as 20 per cent of the cycling traffic on key routes.

FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES…

 

KEY EVENTS

  • No trace of Covid on TFL11:25
  • 39 cyclists killed this year10:59
  • Mayor on increasing fares10:30
  • ‘Green and fair’ recovery10:14
  • ‘Immediate action’ needed at junction

    A hospital has written to Sadiq Khan highlighting the need for ‘immediate action’ at Holborn Gyratory after a nurse was killed on August 4.

    No trace of Covid on TFL

    TFL Commissioner Andy Byford said it will continue to encourage people to use public transport in the coming months as the country recovers from the pandemic. 

    Mr Byford said: “We are doing a threefold approach to make sure that customers have confidence to use the system so its cleaner that it’s ever been.

    “In addition to that we have had imperial college to independent checks of touch points and air systems, and they have not found a single trace of Covid.

    “It needs to be orderly and although it’s more of a challenge to get people to use face masks we do say to people if you are riding public transport you need to wear a face mask.”

    TFL Covid recovery

    Sadiq Khan said: “We are not going to get the recovery that the country needs unless London recovers, and London is not going to recover if there are less buses less tubes and people are less confident using public transport coming to the centre. 

    “Transport is integral to our countries success and that’s why we are working with the government to get long term funding for Transport for London not just for the services we run but to improve them in the future as well.”

    39 cyclists killed this year

    The topic has now moved onto road safety for cyclists. 

    The Mayor has confirmed that 39 people have died whilst cycling on London’s roads so far this year and over 2000 people have been seriously injured.

    This includes Dr Marta Krawiec who was killed in a road traffic accident on August 4.

    Mayor on increasing fares

    When asked whether he would consider freezing fares the Mayor said: “We encourage people to use public transport and one of the ways in doing that is not only making it safe but by making it affordable as well. 

    “Fares is one area we would like the government to show some flex on.”

    Post pandemic improvements

    Sadiq Khan confirms lower speed limits, delivery of improvements to junctions and crossings and high-quality cycle routes are all on TFL agenda to improve post pandemic travel. 

    He also adds that travel in London is currently at about half of pre-pandemic levels.

    ‘Green and fair’ recovery

    The opening question to Sadiq Khan asked how TFL is supporting London in its recovery from the pandemic. 

    The Mayor said it is committed to “ensuring London’s recovery is green and fair’.

    “We simply can’t afford to have a car led recovery. That is why it is so important for TFL to continue delivering improvements that will ensuring walking, cycling and public transport are the most attractive modes of transport.”

    Due to begin shortly

    The London Assembly question and answer session is to begin at 10am. 

    Stay with us for live updates.

    Celebrate cycling in London

    Not everyone is against cycle lanes in the capital. 

    This Twitter account was set up earlier this year to celebrate cycling around London. 

    Controversial cycle lane removed

    Earlier this year campaigners called for the government to step in after a council rejected plans to reinstate a flagship cycle lane in Kensington High Street. 

    The lane, which was installed last year was immediately controversial and despite protests Kensington and Chelsea council took it out again seven weeks later. 

    The council agreed to look at again at the decision after widespread criticism and concern from Downing Street but decided against rebuilding the lane. 

    What does TFL cover?

    Transport for London services include the tube, tram, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Overground, and TFL Rail.

    It also covers London’s buses, taxis, principal road routes, cycling provision, trams, and river services

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