Mask-wearing on public transport sees huge drop with only 20% of rail passengers still wearing them at train stations
Public transport unions have stressed the importance of face masks in the event of a Covid surge in winter
Mask-wearing on trains and in train stations has seen a massive drop now that it is no longer compulsory, statistics provided by Network Rail have revealed today.
According to the report, only 20% of commuters are continuing to wear their face masks while on trains and in stations, a stark comparison to the 80% figure before restrictions were lifted.
In response to the startling new figure, public transport unions have warned that the government may struggle to get people back to wearing masks if Covid cases surge in the winter.
A government statement said, as per The BBC: “The guidance is clear that people are expected and recommended to wear a mask when they come into contact with people they don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
“It is open to transport operators to decide if they want to implement their own policies, working within their particular environment.”
A spokesperson for Unite, which represents bus drivers, said that the use of masks has dropped on buses too, saying: “Our members are reporting that mask-wearing on buses is collapsing and has got much worse in recent weeks. In some cases, there are very few passengers wearing masks on a bus, with those who tend to still wear a mask being older.
“Due to buses getting busier, they can’t socially distance and feel their health is being placed at risk by non-mask-wearers.”
While wearing a face mask isn’t compulsory on trains or bus services, here in Greater Manchester it is still a legal requirement on Metrolink trams.
Just before all restrictions were lifted back in July, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham announced that the use of face masks would continue to be mandatory on all tram services and in Manchester Airport.
The mayor told ITV News at the time: “Public opinion is very squarely behind people continuing to wear masks – on public transport, particularly – but also possibly in essential retail.
“People have been getting in touch with me saying, ‘I want to get rid of it, it’s my choice’, but the bottom line is, if you’re standing next to somebody on a bus, who’s got to get the bus and are on the way to have their chemo or dialysis, you’ve got to put yourself in their shoes.”
Andy Burnham calls for Labour to adopt proportional representation in radical reform of Britain
‘Decisions that impact our everyday lives – education, social care, the economy – are being made in the heartland of privilege by people absolutely out of touch with ordinary folk’
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has called for the Labour Party to adopt proportional representation for MPs to be elected, as part of a ‘radical rewiring of Britain’.
He says reform will stop parties voted for by a minority gaining complete power at Westminster.
Labour has proposed plans to change how UK democracy currently works, which includes replacing the House of Lords with a directly elected senate for the UK’s nations and regions.
In a speech at the Making Britain Work For Scotland rally, in Edinburgh on Thursday evening, the mayor’s proposals were supported by the first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford.
As reported in The Guardian, Burnham said ensuring that MPs were elected using a system that accurately reflected voters’ choices would prevent a party only chosen by a minority of voters having complete power at Westminster.
He said: “I think we need to change the House of Commons as well, I think we need voting reform.
“I don’t believe all people in all places will be equally represented in Westminster until every vote matters.”
He added that Labour’s plans to devolve even greater power to the English regions would allow power to flow from Westminster.
This would make way for a ‘place-first approach’ — where city regions had the authority to work collaboratively, diluting the power of a centralised party machine in London
Burnham was also supported by Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin — who noted she was the only woman among England’s 10 metropolitan mayors.
She said: “We can and we must go further. Power cannot be hoarded in government departments, whether that’s Westminster or Holyrood.
“Decisions that impact our everyday lives – education, social care, the economy – are being made in the heartland of privilege by people absolutely out of touch with ordinary folk.”
Labour’s proposals to introduce new legally underpinned powers for the Scottish and Welsh parliaments, and the English regions, are expected to be a major feature in Keir Starmer’s upcoming general election campaign.
This comes after Gordon Brown held a rally in Edinburgh with his wife, Sarah Brown, under the guidance of Brown’s Our Scottish Future thinktank.
Here, for the first time, Labour leaders from across England, Wales and Scotland addressed a constitutional reform rally, highlighting the pressure Starmer will face to put Brown’s proposals into practice.
The former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie was in the audience and is a member of Brown’s thinktank, suggesting the two parties may cooperate after the next election.
However, Burnham’s stand for electoral reform goes further than Labour’s plans.
Abandoning the current first past the post voting is believed to be opposed by most Labour MPs in the Commons. This is partly because many would face losing their seats and also because it would dilute the elected party’s power.
However supporters of the reform argue that every other legislature in the UK, at Holyrood, the Senedd in Cardiff and Stormont in Northern Ireland, use proportional systems, as do council elections in devolved nations. It is expected a new second chamber at Westminster would also use region-based proportional voting.
Tragedy as body found in search for girl, 15, who got into difficulty swimming in reservoir
She was swimming with her friends before getting into difficulty
A body has been found in the search for a teenage girl who got into difficulty while swimming in a reservoir with her friends.
The group were swimming in Carr Mill Dam, in St Helens, at around 12.30pm on Thursday, June 1st.
Emergency services were called after reports of concerns for safety of a 15-year-old girl who had ‘got in distress’.
After hours of searching the water, Merseyside Police confirmed they had found a body.
In a statement at the scene, Chief Inspector for Merseyside Police for St Helens, Paul Holden said: “Officers entered the water in an attempt to find the teenage girl.
“They were joined by officers from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, the search culminated in the recovery of the girl’s body.”
The girl’s next of kin have been informed and specialist liaison officers will work closely with the family to support them during this difficult time.
He continued: “When the schools return for the summer term our schools officers will work with St Helens Council to ensure that we are able to educate young people about the dangers of water.
“We know how tempting it can be to cool down in the water on a hot summers day, but we want to ensure that young people are equipped with the right knowledge to keep them safe around water.”
Chief inspector Holden ended the press conference with an appeal for witnesses, and anyone who was in the area at the time, to come forward and contact Merseyside Police — which can be done on their website or by calling 101.
Phillip Schofield says he’s ‘lost everything’ and ‘understands how Caroline Flack felt’
The former presenter spoke out in an interview released this morning
Phillip Schofield has asked ‘do you want me to die?’ in an interview released this morning and says he has ‘lost everything’.
The former This Morning presenter has spoken out in his first interview since he departed the show, after it was revealed he had an affair with a younger male colleague .
After the revelations came to light, Schofield resigned as presenter on the ITV daytime show and was dropped by his agency YMU shortly afterwards, as he admitted to the ‘unwise’ but ‘not illegal’ romantic relationship with the runner.
Speaking in an interview with the BBC’s Amol Rajan, released on Friday morning (June 2nd), he discussed the public backlash and abuse he has faced online and in the media since admitting to the affair.
When Rajan began by asking how he was, Schofield replied: “I think I understand how Caroline Flack felt.”
Schofield, visibly in a highly emotionally charged state, said: “If my daughters hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here. And, they’ve guarded me, and wouldn’t let me out of their sight.
“I know that’s a selfish point of view. But you come to a point where you just think, how much are you supposed to take?
“If all of those people that write all that stuff, do they ever think that there’s actually a person at the other end?”
He added: “I have to talk about television in the past tense, which breaks my heart. I have lost everything. If I get through this I don’t know how I move forward. What am I going to do with my days?
“I see nothing ahead of me but blackness and sadness and regret and remorse and guilt. I did something very wrong and then I lied about it consistently… consistently lied about. You can’t live with that. How do you live with that?”
The ex-daytime TV presenter said he felt he had to go ahead with an interview because ‘there is an innocent person here, who didn’t do anything wrong’ who he said is ‘vulnerable and probably feels like I do’.
He urged the media to leave his former lover alone saying: “And I just have to say stop with him, ok with me, but stop with him. Leave him alone now.” Adding he was ‘massively’ concerned about his welfare.
Schofield was also ’emphatic’ in his denial over allegations that he had groomed the man, as yesterday he told The Sun: “I did not [groom him].
“There are accusations of all sorts of things. It never came across that way [an abuse of power] because we’d become mates. I don’t know about that.”
And he also denied there had ever been a ‘feud’ between him and his former co-presenter and ‘TV sister’ Holly Willoughby. “I’ve lost my best friend. I let her down,” he told The Sun.
“Holly did not know. And she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say, ‘I am so, so sorry that I lied to you’.” The pair had presented This Morning together since 2009, with Willoughby due to return to the show on Monday.
Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary have been among the presenters hosting the programme in recent weeks.
Schofield went on to say that his ‘greatest apology’ over the fallout from the affair was to his former lover and that he would ‘die sorry’ for what he had done.