Wednesday 14 October 2020 1:24 pm

Tube journeys hit highest number since lockdown

There were more journeys made on the Tube last week than at any point since the beginning of lockdown in March, despite the imminent prospect of new restrictions being imposed on the capital.

According to data from Transport for London, there were 1.56m such journeys made last Friday, beating the previous high of 1.52m.

Read more: City workers committed to the commute despite PM’s working from home u-turn, TfL data shows

That figure was recorded on 18 September, before Boris Johnson announced that people should return to working from home where possible.

Although the subsequent weekly increases have been marginal, the gradual rise in journeys suggests that staff are remaining defiant in continuing to travel to work.

The increase was also reflected in figures from stations in the City, which also saw their best weeks for passenger numbers in more than six months.

There were over 210,000 taps in and out of Square Mile stations on 9 October, jumping from just over 200,000 the prior week.

The number of trips currently stands at just over a third of pre-pandemic levels.

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Likewise, the number of bus journeys also showed signs of picking up again after two weeks of lower numbers, with 3.74m trips made in total.

The new figures come after London’s mayor Sadiq Khan warned that it was “inevitable” that more restrictions would be put on the capital this week. 

London is currently in the lowest tier of the government’s new three-step coronavirus restrictions system, but Khan said that it should be moved into tier two within days.

The mayor said he did not want to see different restrictions for different boroughs, even though case numbers widely vary across London.

If it does go into the second tier then indoor household mixing will be banned completely.

Read more: Exclusive: TfL set for crunch talks as London bosses call on Sunak to solve cash crisis

At the same time, TfL – which derives most of its income from passenger fares – is staring down the barrel of a funding black hole as negotiations with the government over a new bailout deal continue.

City Hall sources told City A.M. that an emergency finance meeting was expected in the coming days, with the current bailout package due to run out on 17 October.