A nurse who had just finished a 12-hour night shift blasted London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to cut tube services back even further fearing that it may cost vital NHS staff their lives as they battle against the coronavirus crisis.
Sally Hards, 60, who works in a paediatric ward at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London, had just disembarked from a Central line train at Ealing Broadway station, fuming that carriages are more packed than before and the service less regular.
She told MailOnline: ‘It’s taking me twice as long to get to work now and sometimes the carriages are busier. It’s harder to keep a two-metre distance and this increases the chances of becoming infected with coronavirus.
Sally Hards, 60, who works in a paediatric ward at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London, had just disembarked from a Central line train at Ealing Broadway station, and said that carriages are more packed than before and the service less regular
‘The nation needs all NHS staff at the moment, whatever area we are working in. Morale is very good amongst us, we’ve all pulled together and our doing our bit. But I wonder if the authorities in London are doing theirs? Restricting the underground even more is not going to help us.’
Ms Hards added: ‘There are still people getting on the tube who shouldn’t be on it. I want the underground restricted only for NHS staff and other key workers and for there to be a regular service.’
Nurse Michelle Hinds, 42, who works at Ealing Hospital in West London, seethed that the one-hour journey from her home in north London is now taking her twice as long and sometimes more.
‘It took me two-and-a-half hours to get home yesterday, which is ridiculous. We should be getting home quickly and safely. I have to change trains twice and one of them was very busy. I love my job but I’m full of fear each time I get on the underground,’ she added.
Occupational therapist Jess Hodnett, 21, who works at a mental health hospital she did not want to name, said: ‘There are all kind of people who still need help, it’s not just about coronavirus so the NHS needs to keep going.
‘I can see why they may want to reduce Underground services because they want less people to use it but that’s not going to be good for us. It will just mean busier carriages and longer waits on platforms.’
Occupational therapist Jess Hodnett, 21, said: ‘I can see why they may want to reduce Underground services because they want less people to use it but that’s not going to be good for us. It will just mean busier carriages and longer waits on platforms’
Despite an increase in the number of people working from home, there was still a steady flow of passengers at Ealing Broadway station, which is served by two underground lines and overland trains.
Security officials and police patrolled the entrance to the station, advising passengers that they should only travel if their journey is essential.
Rajeev Shrestra, 37, a Police Community Support Officer for British Transport Police, told MailOnline that he had been at the station since 7am.
He said: ‘We’re just asking people to think about their journey and if they really need to make it? The majority of those we have spoken to have been NHS staff or construction workers and everybody is travelling because they have to.
‘We’ve not turned any one away and everybody has been very polite and understanding; my job has never been easier. I think people are at last getting the message that they should only make essential journeys. To be honest, we’re really on the lookout for gangs of teenagers who are off school and think it would be a good opportunity to go for a day out.’
Tanya Sakpa, 39, was taking the underground from her home in Ealing to Harlesden, North West London, to buy African food accompanied by her three sons; Karl, six, Kaleb, five, and Kallai, two-and-a-half. (From left) Karl, Kalli, Ms Sakpa and Kaleb
Irfan Ijaz, 50, who works at Spitalfields Fruit and Veg Market in East London, where he had just finished a night shift, said: ‘The underground service is much worse, you have to wait longer for trains and the carriages are busier. I’m worried enough as it is about using public transport at this time and this is just getting me more stressed.’
Tanya Sakpa, 39, was taking the underground from her home in Ealing to Harlesden, North West London, to buy African food accompanied by her three sons; Karl, six, Kaleb, five, and Kallai, two-and-a-half.
She said: ‘I haven’t got anything left to eat at home and Harlesden is the nearest place to me for African food. Of course, I’m worried about taking the underground but what else can I do? The children are off school and getting very bored, but I can’t leave them at home on their own because my husband is out at work.’
Agnieszka Madura, 35, a trader in alcoholic beverages revealed that she was taking the underground to her office in the City of London to complete a ‘very important assignment.’
She joked: ‘I’ve got several containers of alcohol on ships waiting to get into port and be offloaded. I’ve been working from home these past few days but had to go to the office because the original documents are there.
‘The nation could probably do with a drink at a time like this so you could say I’m a key worker.’