Middle Door Boarding Introduced on London Buses

Measure aims to protect bus workers eight of whom have died from coronavirus

A trial of middle-door only boarding on London’s buses is to be launched this week in an effort to protect drivers and other bus staff, eight of whom have died due to the coronavirus.

TfL had already introduced other measures such as including a clear film covering holes in the drivers’ protective screen and discouraging the use of seats near the driver.

Middle-door only boarding could ensure that critical workers can continue to rely on London’s buses to travel, while ensuring that drivers, who have no option to change seats or move in the bus, can maintain social distancing while working. The trial will assess how the change works in live operations.

Travel on public transport is only for critical workers making absolutely essential journeys, and the number of people using buses has plummeted by around 85 per cent.

TfL is encouraging even more people to stop travelling to ensure that both these life-saving workers and London’s bus drivers can safely continue to be on the frontline of the coronavirus effort.

Claire Mann, Director of Bus Operations at TfL, said, “London’s hard-working transport workers are making a heroic effort at the frontline of the fight against this pandemic, and it is only right we consider everything we can to protect them. We’ve already delivered many other enhanced safety measures and by trialling middle-door only boarding on buses we can gain the information we need to see if we can further improve safety on London’s buses. Most Londoners can do their bit to protect our bus colleagues and other critical workers by remembering: stay home, don’t travel, save lives.”

Public transport in London is being run for critical workers and to help reduce the spread of coronavirus no-one else should be using the transport network, with TfL’s message being simple: stay at home, don’t travel, save lives.

April 8, 2020