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RAIL union RMT has ridiculed a crackpot Tory scheme to make London’s transport workers take the temperatures of more than a million passengers to help control the spread of Covid-19.
Nickie Aiken, the Tory MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, suggested that transport workers should be conducting checks on commuters travelling into the capital’s hubs.
According to Transport for London some 650,000 passengers used London’s Tube network and 760,000 took bus journeys on Thursday, with passenger numbers increasing rapidly as the government continues to pressure workers back into workplaces whatever the risks.
RMT assistant general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Nicki Aiken’s plan is ill-thought through and is clearly written by someone who does not undertake a regular commute into London.
“Otherwise she would know that following 10 years of Tory austerity, implemented by the former Mayor and current Prime Minister, many of London’s Tube and Overground stations are now unstaffed following swingeing staffing cuts.
“Therefore temperature checks on commuters would be impossible to carry out in many places.
“We do welcome the fact that Nickie Aiken has inadvertently highlighted the vital role our heroic key transport workers have played and will continue to play throughout the Covid-19 crisis though.”
Mr Lynch called for a “cast-iron guarantee” that there would be no more job cuts on London’s Tube and buses.
TfL said yesterday that it was considering offering a free trip into the capital in an attempt to stimulate the economy through a “first ride free” scheme, seen as the public-transport equivalent to the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme.
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