London Underground’s Waterloo & City line, a key public transport daily commuter link between Waterloo main line station and Bank Tube station in the City of London, reopens for service today having been completely shut due to the pandemic since last March.
Services will run every five minutes during the morning and afternoon peak travel periods which Transport for London says will enable passengers to stagger their journeys across these periods, facilitating adherence to social distancing.
The re-opening the Waterloo & City, which TfL says is happening ahead of schedule, will add to overall Tube service capacity as the numbers using the Underground continues to gradually increase.
Overall TfL figures for last week, excluding the Bank Holiday, show Tube use at close to 45 per cent of normal demand for the equivalent period pre-pandemic. On the Bank Holiday Monday they reached 56 per cent. TfL says overall Tube ridership is up by 20 per cent since 17 May, four weeks ago.
Waterloo & City Tube train staff have been redeployed to the Central Line while the Waterloo & City has been shut, helping to maximise its service levels while few workers have been travelling into the City. The return of the Waterloo & City is a response to more people returning to offices.
Sadiq Khan said: “As London’s economy continues to re-open and more people return to their offices, having this key artery connecting Waterloo and Bank stations up and running will be vital.” He stressed that the move will “support our businesses in the City that help to drive London and the UK’s economy and help our eco-system of retail, hospitality and cultural venues, which are vital to our economic prosperity.”
Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, described the re-opening of the “historic line” as “an exciting and vital moment in the Square Mile’s recovery, as it marks a huge step on our journey back to normality.”
On London is a small but influential website which strives to provide more of the kind of journalism the capital city needs. It depends on financial help from readers and is able to offer them something in return. Please consider becoming a supporter. Details here.