UK: As part of bespoke cleaning measures during the coronavirus pandemic, Transport for London is installing more than 200 UV light devices to sanitise the handrails on 110 London Underground escalators.
This follows a six-week trial launched in May which found that the UV lights improve escalator handrail sanitisation by at least 50%. TfL said that while the UV light had been proven to de-activate previous strains of coronavirus, Covid-19 was still too new for similar clinical trials to have concluded in the UK.
Almost a quarter of all escalators on the network will be fitted with the devices, which use the motion of the handrail to drive a dynamo and power a UV bulb that breaks down contamination.
‘Customer injuries on escalators account for around half of all injuries on the network and, during the pandemic, we have found that some customers are avoiding holding the handrails’, said Esther Sharples, Director of Asset Operations at London Underground. ‘We hope that the installation of these new devices, along with the provision of Dettol hand sanitiser across the network, will rebuild customer confidence.’
TfL said it had regularly tested for coronavirus on the network, with no evidence of it found to date. Last month it launched a testing plan developed with Imperial College London, which involves independent monthly air and surface sampling on Underground and bus services for a period of four months.