- The Waterloo & City line will resume from 21 June in line with step 4 of the Government’s roadmap
- A weekday, peak time service on the line will add extra capacity on the network for those who can’t change their working hours
- The network is cleaner than ever before and is running near-normal levels of service
Transport for London (TfL) has today (Saturday 15th May) announced that the Waterloo & City line will reopen on 21 June, ready to play a vital role in the capital’s recovery from coronavirus.
The line, which connects Waterloo and Bank stations, is an important commuter link and has been closed since March last year when those who were able to do so were told to work from home. From 21 June, people are expected to return to offices in greater numbers and TfL has been working closely with the City of London Corporation to ensure that the reopening of the Waterloo & City line aligns with Government guidance on returning to workplaces.
The Waterloo & City line will run every five minutes Monday to Friday from 06:00 to 10:00 in the morning and 15:30 to 19:00 in the afternoon. These hours will not only allow customers to spread their journeys to avoid busier times in the mornings and afternoons, but also add extra capacity during peak times for those commuters who cannot change their working hours. Customers are still encouraged to travel at quieter times where possible across the network and TfL will continue to monitor demand.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: “I’m very pleased to announce the return of this commuter line, which is an important milestone in the reopening of our city and will help get the central London economy back to life and protect jobs.”
“I’m grateful that Waterloo & City drivers have helped ensure we could offer the most frequent service possible on the Central line over the challenging past year, and I’m delighted that from next month the Waterloo & City line will return.”
Andy Lord, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “The reopening of the Waterloo & City line on 21 June will be a step back towards normality for London, as people who have been working from home return to offices in the City. We’re looking forward to welcoming customers back onto the network and helping the capital get back onto its feet again.”
Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “This is an exciting moment in the return to normality. The reopening of the historic Waterloo & City line is vital to the Square Mile’s recovery. We welcome today’s announcement aligning the reopening of the service with the next anticipated step in the easing of restrictions.
“Many more people will return to the City as soon as the rules allow. We thank TfL for recognising the importance of the Waterloo & City line to the swift return of the City workforce to the Square Mile which, in turn, will provide reassurance to the many businesses which rely on commuter traffic for trade.
“The reopening of the Waterloo & City line on June 21 will play a central role in ensuring the Square Mile, and London, has a successful and sustainable economic recovery.”
Jemma Read, London Office Chair and Global Head of Corporate Philanthropy, Bloomberg LP, said: “The City of London has been a hub of commerce and culture for thousands of years and Bloomberg is proud to be part of its fabric. As restrictions ease, resuming access to the Waterloo & City line will be an important step towards rebuilding the City’s community and reviving it as a vibrant place to visit and work.”
Andrew Corrigan, General Manager at The Royal Exchange, said: “The Royal Exchange, the beautiful and historic building at the heart of the City which is home to luxury retailers and Fortnum’s Bar & Restaurant, is delighted that the City is opening up again. The reopening of the Waterloo & City Line on June 21 will undoubtedly increase the number of workers to the area and much-needed footfall. We are looking forward to welcoming customers back through our doors.”
For the past 14 months, Waterloo & City line drivers have played an important role in the fight against coronavirus on the Central line. Using these drivers on the Central line ensured that TfL could offer as much service as possible on one of the key lines on the Tube network to enable social distancing and help people move around London during restrictions.
As has been the case since July 2020, TfL continues to run near-normal levels of service across the public transport network. A wide range of active travel options are also 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, 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.
The transport network is also well ventilated. Train and bus doors opening frequently ensures that regular exchange of air across the public transport network, while the constant movement of trains draws fresh air into the system and in the deeper Tube lines ventilation shafts and fans supplement that air movement. Buses are also fitted with a range of air extraction and ventilation systems. These systems, in conjunction with leaving windows open and the frequent opening of doors, ensure the flow of fresh air through the vehicle.
As more people return to the network there will be occasions when social distancing will not possible. Users of frequent Tube, bus and rail services are advised to consider waiting for the next service if necessary. Face coverings must still be worn across the transport network, and customers are encouraged to continue to check before they travel.