HERO NHS workers have today accused Sadiq Khan of "risking lives" as the Tube was once again packed after he put on a reduced service.
Pictures taken this morning show workers crammed on the capital’s transport network with some key workers waiting 20 minutes for a full train to arrive.
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Carriages on the Central Line and Northern Line were completely full with people sitting and standing next to each other – potentially spreading coronavirus which has claimed 422 lives in the UK.
Mr Khan is now facing fury over his decision to run a reduced service and is accused of “herding” workers into packed buses and trains.
The Mayor this morning said he can't put more trains on because a third of TfL's staff has gone off sick during the pandemic.
His decision has resulted in NHS workers today claiming they are more concerned about travelling to work than treating Covid-19 patients in hospital.
Barry Trimble said: “On my way to look after immune compromised cancer patients to make sure that they get their chemotherapy.
“The tube is packed with social distancing impossible Pouting face get your s*** together TFL.
You need to get more trains on and stop putting the lives of key workers like me at risk.
“We need more people to stay at home and more trains running in morning and evening peak.”
Key worker Tony Drew added: “No-one is listening to you and don’t need to reduce the service as much as you have.
“You need to get more trains on and stop putting the lives of key workers like me at risk.”
Commuters also accused the Mayor of "risking lives" and urged him to rethink his strategy.
One said: "You are herding key workers into a smaller space. Your decision is a difficult one but is directly risking lives. Please rethink this for our health workers so they can at least feel safe going to work."
Another NHS worker added: "Please sort the tubes out, this is risking lives. Emergency workers have to use TFL! Help now."
NHS sonographer Nicola Smith tweeted: "I love my job, but now I'm risking my health just on the journey in?! @SadiqKhan put the tube service back to normal so we can all spread out, or @BorisJohnson start policing who's getting on. Help me!
"I worry for my health more on my commute than actually being in the hospital."
The issue sparked a fierce exchange between Mr Khan and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who demanded more trains be put on to prevent crammed carriages.
Mr Hancock said there is “no good reason” for the Tube to be packed after Mr Khan refused to increase train services.
I love my job, but now I'm risking my health just on the journey in?! I worry for my health more on my commute than actually being in the hospital.
Speaking at last night’s press conference, he said: "There is no good reason in the information I’ve seen that the current levels of Tube provision should be as low as they are.
"We should have more Tube trains running.”
TfL this morning announced passengers numbers are a third below yesterday and half what it was on Monday.
Mr Khan today said: "Nearly a third of TfL's staff are now off sick or self-isolating – including train drivers and crucial control centre staff.
"Many of them have years of safety-critical training in order to run specific lines – so it is simply not possible to replace them with others.
"TfL will do everything possible to continue safely running a basic service for key workers, including our amazing NHS staff, but if the number of TfL staff off sick or self-isolating continues to rise – as we sadly expect it will – we will have no choice but to reduce services further."
Vernon Everitt, TfL’s Managing Director of Customers, Communication and Technology, said: “Everyone must follow the Government and Mayor’s orders to stay at home and only travel if absolutely necessary.
“Only critical workers should be using public transport and no one else. Ignoring these orders will put lives at risk.
“We will continue to run as much of a Tube service as we possibly can so that those critical NHS staff and other workers can get to work, but as our staff themselves fall ill or have to self-isolate we are simply not able to run a full service.
"The majority of people are playing their part and avoiding travel, but more people need to stop travelling immediately to save lives.”
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