TfL to strongly encourage the wearing of face coverings – 23 February 2022

TfL will no longer require customers to wear face coverings as a condition of carriage on their services from 24 February. However, they are strongly encouraging customers and staff to continue wearing them if they are able to.

The changes respond to the current pandemic situation in London and TfL have considered a variety of factors in coming to this decision, including the shift in the government’s approach towards living with the virus and decreasing infection rates in London.

TfL are strongly encouraging customers to wear face coverings on their services to drive down transmission of the virus and keep each other as safe as possible. Research suggests a good-quality face covering can help reduce the chance of catching coronavirus and passing it onto others, and face coverings have also played an important role in giving people confidence to use public transport throughout the pandemic, particularly people who are vulnerable.


As the Government’s Plan B restrictions are lifted and regulations are relaxed across England from Thursday 27 January, Transport for London (TfL) is reminding customers that face coverings remain a requirement to be worn on its services.

TfL intends to retain the condition of carriage requiring all customers using any TfL service or station to wear a face covering unless they are exempt.

The full announcement is available here.


Updated travel advice – 30 November 2021

The Government has confirmed that face coverings will become compulsory again on public transport and in shops across the country in order to help prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant in the UK. Since the Government removed the national requirement to wear a face covering on public transport, face coverings have remained mandatory on TfL services under TfL’s condition of carriage but enforcement powers under these conditions were highly limited.

This new regulation means that customers must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth for their entire journey, including on transport services, in stations and on platforms, unless they are exempt. Additionally, face coverings should be worn by everyone in taxi and private hire vehicles for the duration of their journey. Exemptions include people who have trouble breathing, children and anyone who finds it difficult to manage them correctly.

TfL’s 500 uniformed enforcement officers and TfL’s police partners will be out across the transport network ensuring that customers comply with the Government regulation. Anybody who does not comply may be refused entry, directed to leave the network or face a fine.

Scientific advice suggests that although face coverings are unlikely to prevent an individual from catching the coronavirus, they can help prevent someone who is infected from infecting others and thus help control the virus.

TfL is continuing to ensure customers can travel safely and confidently on its services. Tube trains and stations are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing protection. Independent testing by Imperial College London has been carried out monthly since September 2020, taking swabs of touch points in stations, buses and air samples in ticket halls. No traces of coronavirus on TfL’s public transport network have been found.

TfL’s enhanced cleaning regime continues to make the network cleaner than ever, with more than 1,100 hand sanitisers installed across the network, and at least 200 UV light devices continually sanitising escalator handrails. TfL’s buses and trains are well ventilated, with air on a typical train carriage changing every two to three minutes on average.

Mayor asks TfL to keep face coverings as compulsory on its services – July 2021

The Mayor of London has asked TfL to keep the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport as a condition of travel on all TfL services after 19 July when the existing national legal requirement finishes. This would provide an extra layer of protection and additional reassurance to Londoners and visitors to the capital by going further than the Government’s updated messaging that it is “expected” and “recommended” that people wear face coverings on public transport, and support our city’s economic recovery.

The requirement would mean passengers on all TfL services would need to continue to wear a face covering in stations and for the duration of their journey unless they are exempt. This would include the Tube, bus, tram, DLR, Overground and TfL Rail. The Mayor has also asked TfL to put appropriate measures in place to help ensure the continued use of face coverings in taxis and private hire vehicles by both drivers and passengers unless they are exempt.

Find out more here.


Transport for London Update – April 2021

With further lifting of lockdown restrictions coming into effect on 12 April, including reopening of non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality, TfL is issuing information for customers who will be returning to the transport network.

TfL continues to run near-normal levels of service across the public transport network and a wide range of active travel options are available, including Santander Cycles and protected cycling and walking routes, especially in central London and the West End.

TfL’s enhanced cleaning regime continues to make the network cleaner than ever. Trains, trams, buses and stations are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing protection.

Independent testing by Imperial College London has been carried out monthly since September 2020, taking swabs of touch points in stations, buses and air samples in ticket halls and has found no traces of coronavirus on the transport network.  You can see what TfL is doing to keep you safe on London’s transport network here.

Face coverings must continue to be worn, covering both the mouth and nose, in stations, on platforms and for the full duration of a journey, unless an exemption applies. While compliance continues to be high, TfL’s enforcement officers, as well as both the Met Police and British Transport Police will be highly visible to ensure customers remain safe by stopping people without exemptions from using public transport until they put on a face covering. Tough action is taken on those who do not comply, to date around 149,000 customers have been stopped from travelling with around 2,700 receiving a fixed penalty notice.

Initial analysis by TfL suggests that around 1.7 million Londoners (or more than 40 per cent of pre-pandemic ridership) have been using the network each weekday in recent weeks.

With more people across London returning to work in sectors that reopen on 12 April, TfL is asking employers to stagger shift times and customers to travel at the quieter times during the day when there is available spare capacity to help customers maintain social distancing. Guidance on how to support your team by encouraging them to travel at quieter times is available here.

At certain very limited times and locations ‘1m plus’ social distancing is occasionally not possible. Users of public transport are asked to help by being patient and waiting for the next service if necessary, to minimise the occasions when social distancing is not immediately possible.


Can you travel another way? – April 2021

Alternative ways to travel, such as walking and cycling, could relieve the pressure on public transport. Try to walk or cycle part of your journey and consider getting off a stop or two early. If you arrive at a mainline station, avoid changing to Tubes and buses, and walk or cycle to your destination. This map shows how much time it takes to walk between stations on the same line. Some journeys could even be quicker to walk.

This useful guidance on cycle parking for businesses outlines the key principles of good quality cycle parking and provides information on recommended types of cycle parking, guidance on how much to provide and where, alongside other requirements and complementary measures.

Employers might also find this TfL Active Travel Toolkit useful.

Walking times between stations on the same line

Walking times between stations on the same line

We are helping our members access sustainable travel options and are working hand-in-hand with TfL and Westminster City Council to ensure that the pavements are safe and that there is adequate cycling parking. Westminster is also offering free cycle training and bike sessions to anybody who lives, works or studies in the borough.

Cycle parking around Marble Arch & Edgware Road

Cycle parking around Marble Arch & Edgware Road

Hiring a Santander Cycle is also a low-cost and sustainable way to travel. There are more than 11,500 Santander bikes at over 750 docking stations across London. It costs £2 for unlimited journeys up to 30 minutes, within a 24 hour period. For journeys longer than 30 minutes, you pay £2 for each additional 30 minutes.

Santander cycle stations

Santander cycle stations near Marble Arch & Edgware Road


If you would like to put in place a cycle to work scheme, please read the Department for Transport’s Cycle to Work Scheme Guidance for Employers, covering benefits, eligibility, equipment, taxation, and salary sacrifice and national insurance contributions.

On 9 May 2020 Transport Secretary Grant  Shapps launched plans to boost greener, active transport. For businesses, it means increased productivity and increased footfall in shops. And for society as a whole it means lower congestion, better air quality, and vibrant, attractive places and communities.

Cycling and walking


Tube Stations Reopening – September 2020

As people continue to return to the network in larger numbers, Transport for London are reopening tube stations across their network.

The following local stations are now open with full hours unless otherwise stated:

  • Marble Arch (No down escalator service until late October 2020)
  • Edgware Road
  • Baker Street
  • Bond Street
  • Bayswater
  • Marylebone
  • Paddington
  • Hyde Park Corner
  • Queensway

Some stations still remain closed. Check before you travel.


Tips to Stay Safe – 17 July 2020

On 17 July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said anyone can now use public transport at any time in England. TfL has set out some simple tips to help everyone stay safe as they travel:

  • Travel at quieter times, and avoid travelling during the peak times of 05:45-08:15 and 16:00-17:30 if you can.  There is more available capacity outside of those times. Click here to check the busiest and quietest times to travel at any station on the TfL network, at any time of day.
  • It is now mandatory to wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth for your entire journey, including in stations. These should not be removed mid-journey. Transport Police will enforce these rules and anyone who does not follow the rules may be fined where necessary. There will be exemptions for young children.
  • Stay alert to the latest Government advice. This includes continuing to work from home if you can and walking or cycling all or part of your journey if possible.
  • Wash or sanitise hands at the beginning and at the end of your journey and carry hand sanitiser with you if you can. A thousand hand sanitiser stations have been installed across the transport network.
  • Follow the social distancing signage and guidance now in place across the transport network, keeping your distance from other customers when you travel wherever possible. Travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow.

TfL has also deployed a range of new measures to make the transport network cleaner than ever and keep everyone safe, find out more here.


Congestion Charge and ULEZ – 18 May 2020

Central London’s Congestion Charge (CC), ULEZ and the wider Low Emission Zone were reinstated on 18 May to prevent significant increases in pollution and congestion, but despite the re-introduction of charging schemes, car traffic in central London is increasing again.

TfL’s projections show that, if left unchecked, car traffic in central London could double as the Government eases lockdown restrictions.

TfL is making the following changes to the Congestion Charge from Monday 22 June, which will help create more space for socially distanced walking and cycling as part of the Mayor’s Street Space programme:

  • The daily charge will increase from £11.50 to £15 per day (£17.50 for those paying during the three days after the day of travel).
  • Charging hours will be extended to 07:00 to 22:00 from the current hours of 07:00 to 18:00, to reflect peak traffic hours during the epidemic. The scheme will operate seven days a week and all year around except Christmas Day.
  • TfL will remove Auto Pay and Fleet Auto Pay £1 daily discount.
  • The residents’ discount scheme will close to new applications from 1 August. In response to issues raised by stakeholders and the public, applications received up to and including 31 July will be accepted. Existing discount holders will continue to receive the discount for their currently registered vehicle and any replacements.
  • TfL is expanding the NHS patient reimbursement scheme and creating new reimbursement arrangements for local authorities and charities providing services in response to the pandemic.

We need renewed action to help keep the recent improvements to air quality. Cleaner air during lockdown, and emerging evidence linking air pollution to the most severe impacts of COVID-19, make this task even more urgent.


TfL reintroduces the requirement for passengers to touch in on London’s buses – 23 May 2020

On 20 April buses in London temporarily became middle-door only boarding as part of Transport for London’s efforts to help combat coronavirus.

Middle-door boarding was brought in as a temporary measure to protect bus drivers, as card readers are usually located at the front door adjacent to where the driver sits. This meant customers were not required to touch in when making a bus journey. TfL have since worked to return card readers located by the middle doors of New Routemasters and introduced a wide range of safety measures.

From 23 May, Transport for London will begin the phased re-introduction of the requirement for passengers to touch in on London’s buses. There will be announcements and signage in place on bus doors to let customers know they need to touch in.

Customers who use buses on 85 routes which are served by single-door and New Routemaster buses will be required to touch in using their Oyster, Contactless or concessionary card on the reader as they board. This is the first step towards returning all of London’s buses to being able to accept payments once further safety measures have been introduced to protect bus drivers. The routes are provided below.

Single door bus routes: 124, 138, 146, 162, 192, 233, 273, 315, 318, 322, 336, 352, 354, 356, 367, 377, 379, 383, 385, 394, 404, 424, 434, 462, 463, 464, 481, 631, B13, B14, E5, E10, E11, G1, H2, H3, H20, H26, K1, K4, K5, R1, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7, R8, R10, S3, S4, U9, W4, W5 and W12

The first New Routemaster bus routes where passengers should touch in at the middle door: 3, 9, 11, 12, 15, 19, 21, 24, 27, 38, 59, 67, 68, 73, 76, 87, 137, 148, 149, 159, 211, 253, 254, 415, 453, EL1, EL2 and EL3

Single-decker routes 507 and 521 will also return to taking contactless and Oyster payments but will continue to use middle door boarding.

London buses


Transport for London Restart Plan – 20 May 2020

TfL have set out their plans to support the restart following the announcement from Government on 10 May on how restrictions on movement will gradually start to be eased and published a useful briefing for businesses on 20 May.

Significant changes to the way in which people travel in London will be required.

In keeping with plans on the national rail network, TfL are working to safely and gradually build up service levels to where they were before the pandemic and will return the number of buses and trains running to as close to 100 per cent as soon as possible. They are working closely with staff and the trade unions with the intention of, by 18 May, increasing service levels to around 85 per cent on the bus network, at least 70 per cent on the Tube and London Overground (in line with national rail services), 80 per cent on the DLR and a full service on TfL Rail.

London Underground is aiming to restore the Circle Line and to re-open some of the 37 stations that have been closed for several weeks. However, some stations will stay closed for now so that staff can be deployed to help manage any congestion at busier stations. Some stations with lift-only access may need to remain closed as social distancing is not possible.

However, as is the case with national rail services, this does not mean a return to the transport network that existed before the crisis.

The national requirement to maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible means that TfL will be able to carry around 13-20 per cent of the normal number of passengers on the Tube and bus networks even when 100 per cent of services are operating once again.

Reflecting these national recommendations, TfL have set out the following advice for Londoners:

  • If you can work from home, please continue to do so. Social distancing on transport will not be possible unless people who can work from home continue to do so;
  • Do not expect to return to the transport network you were used to before. The number of people TfL can safely transport on buses and trains is severely constrained to enable social distancing;
  • If you need to travel, please re-imagine how to do so. Walk and cycle if you can. New walking and cycling space is being created to further support this;
  • If using public transport, or taxi and private hire services that are regulated by TfL, please travel outside of peak times and use a facial covering, carry a hand sanitizer and wash your hands before and after you travel. Face covering are particularly important where 2m social distancing is hard to maintain.
  • If you must use public transport, avoid the busiest times between 05:45-08.15 and 16:00-17:30;
  • Advice on maintaining social distancing will be given across the transport network and further measures to prevent crowding through new queuing systems will be in operation. Please respect each other’s space and try to maintain social distancing wherever possible;
  • TfL’s hardworking staff are there to help:  please act on their instructions and respect them at all times.

To help as the number of customers travelling gradually increases, TfL are introducing a range of measures. Hand sanitizer points will start to be introduced across the transport network over the coming weeks, with points to be installed at every Tube and TfL rail station. They will also be installed in all bus stations and the Victoria Coach Station, and at TfL River Piers, the Woolwich Ferry, Emirates Air Line and at all London Overground and DLR stations where it’s safe and secure to do so. The rigorous cleaning regime for buses, trains and stations will continue.

As travel restrictions begin to be lifted, all taxi and private hire companies and drivers are being asked to put protective measures in place including ensuring face coverings to be worn by drivers.

Red buses

London Streetspace Programme – 6 May 2020

TfL have launched the ‘London Streetspace’ programme. This programme will rapidly transform London’s streets to accommodate significant increases in cycling and walking when lockdown restrictions are eased. With London’s public transport capacity potentially running at a fifth of pre-crisis levels, millions of journeys a day will need to be made by other means. If people switch only a fraction of these journeys to cars, London risks grinding to a halt, air quality will worsen, and road danger will increase.

To prevent this happening, TfL is planning to rapidly re-purpose London’s streets to serve this unprecedented demand for walking and cycling. On 15 May, TfL announced the latest stage of the Mayor’s Streetspace for London scheme:

  • TfL is creating one of the largest low-traffic areas in the world: car-free streets will transform roads across the capital.
  • New walking and cycling corridors planned for London Bridge to Shoreditch, Euston to Waterloo and Old Street to Holborn.
  • Meanwhile in the past week alone, TfL have added around 5,000 square metres of extra space on footpaths across London, giving people space to safely walk and queue for local shops while maintaining social distancing.


Fare refunds – April 2020

You can apply for a refund for your Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass season ticket if you’re self-isolating or not travelling due to concerns about coronavirus.

Public transport during COVID-19