Transport for London’s War on Superbugs

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan plans a blitz on superbugs on the London Underground

TfL's superbugs blitz image by Kiev.Victor.
Grime in the Tube Station at Midnight: TfL’s blitz on the superbugs will see a marked improvement in cleanliness across one of the world’s most extensive metro systems. Image by Kiev.Victor (via Shutterstock).

Millions of commuters enjoy or endure travelling on the London Underground to get around the capital. For many people, particularly in the peak hours, sardine-like conditions are the norm. This also means warm, stifling conditions, and commuters travelling amongst sweaty armpits. Apart from that, attractive conditions for bacteria. Superbugs even.

The amounts of superbugs spotted on the London Underground has rocked Transport for London. So much so that the Office of the Mayor of London have launched a bacterial blitz. In London, Sadiq Khan’s team commissioned a survey by London Metropolitan University and Staveley Head.

The survey identified 121 types of bacteria and mould on Transport for London’s routes. Not only on the Tube, but also buses, Overground trains, Docklands Light Railway operations and, possibly, the Emirates Sky Line cable car.

The London Underground has been singled out for TfL’s grime scene investigations with the Victoria Line its worst offender. Eight of the most threatening bacteria to human health was found on the above line. Tests will be taken at twelve stations, then cleaning operations will be undertaken using industrial cleaners and magnetic wands.

Sadiq Khan, in The Guardian, said: “Tube staff and the millions of passengers who use the underground regularly deserve to breathe the cleanest air possible. TfL’s new underground air quality programme will help ensure dust and particles are kept to an absolute minimum.

“But I want to leave no stone unturned and I’ve also asked for an updated scientific analysis of pollution on the tube so we can fully assess the air quality levels and take appropriate measures to ensure that the air is clean.”

We hope Mr. Khan and the Office of the Mayor of London succeed in their plan to blitz the superbugs. Cleaning public transport can be a thankless task, especially when the cleaner’s work is ‘rewarded’ by empty coffee cups and squashed sandwiches.

Clean Hire, 28 June 2017.