Alarming footage has emerged showing workers at a London Underground station piling into tube carriages earlier this morning.
Commuters boarding at Canning Town in east London during peak hours were forced to forgo any attempt at social distancing, with BBC transport correspondent Tom Edwards sharing what appeared to be CCTV footage of the scrum.
The main cause of the crowds was a number of short-notice service cancellations due to staff absences.
This caused large numbers of people travelling to work to build up as they waited on the same platform, and not purely because of high numbers of people travelling.
Under the current regulations, people are being urged to work from home where possible, and should only leave their house for essential reasons.
EXC: Tube drivers getting increasingly concerned at number of travellers. This footage sent to me was Canning Town first thing. pic.twitter.com/reg1yOD9bT
— Tom Edwards (@BBCTomEdwards) January 14, 2021
It was also alleged that tube drivers themselves are becoming increasingly worried about the numbers of passengers, despite the national lockdown and surging infection rates in the capital.
In his tweet, BBC’s Mr Edwards said: “Tube drivers getting increasingly concerned at number of travellers. This footage sent to me was Canning Town first thing.”
“And to be clear I am not criticising anyone going to work. I am reporting tube drivers and their union have concerns about overcrowding. It happened at these stations back in March and also earlier this week.”
TfL’s Director of Line Operations later explained three Jubilee trains serving Canning Town were “unfortunately” cancelled at short notice this morning, but that the large crowds were only there for a short amount of time.
“This morning’s video is not representative of the rest of the Tube network nor of this station for the rest of the day.”
Former Press Secretary to the Queen Dickie Arbiter commented: “This is truly shocking – why aren’t @TfL station staff managing passengers on platforms or hasn’t the @MayorofLondon thought of that one yet?”
Another user wrote: “Terrifying, but absolutely not their fault. It’s their employers forcing them to still work.
Earlier today, rail bosses also announced that routes and capacity across the country were being stripped back once again.
London Underground is reportedly at around 17% of normal demand outside of lockdown, but there are still some concerns that use of public transport is higher in the capital than during the first lockdown.
The RMT union spoke out earlier in the week, demanding TfL take action after 50 tube, bus and head office workers were confirmed to have died in the pandemic.
A major incident was declared just last week by Sadiq Khan over the surging case rates and patient numbers in hospitals, and rumours remain of a possible tightening of the rules by the Government.