TFL confirms journeys free of charge but urges Londoners against non-essential travel.

Transport for London (TfL) announced it will only allow passengers to use the middle doors when boarding London buses to prevent close contact with drivers.

As many as 26 London bus workers have died from Covid-19 despite bus travel having dropped by 85% since the outbreak began. Pressure had been growing on the regulator to give greater protection for transport workers, especially bus drivers. 

TfL had been trialling the boarding restrictions on 140 buses across nine routes, and on April 20 introduced the middle-door only policy to further limit direct contact between passengers and drivers. 

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘I’m really pleased that TfL will be introducing middle-door-only boarding across the London bus network following a successful trial. This will further protect drivers and follows on from enhancing the anti-viral cleaning regime across the network, adding a new protective film to the screens of drivers’ cabs, and preventing passengers sitting next to bus drivers.’ 

TfL's Director of Bus Operations Claire Mann said: “Bus drivers are pivotal in ensuring critical workers like NHS staff and grocery workers can perform the vital roles they do during this national emergency.

"Their efforts are nothing short of heroic and it is essential that we leave no stone unturned when looking to protect them."

TFL also confirmed that travel on London buses would be free for the remainder of the Coronavirus crisis.