Almost 500 people have been fined in London for not wearing face coverings on public transport.
Passengers in Lambeth – which includes Waterloo Station – were the most common rulebreakers as 127 were caught between July and September.
Westminster was a distant second place with 83 Fixed Penalty Notices in the same time frame, while Croydon had 61.
It comes as the government threatens to take away mayor Sadiq Khan’s control of Transport for London unless he increases fares in return for a rescue package.
Meanwhile TfL is installing hundreds of ultraviolet lights to clean handrails on escalators on a number of Tube stations across the city.
And traffic congestion in the capital has plummeted this week following the start of the half-term break.
Passengers in Lambeth, which includes Waterloo Station, were the most common rulebreakers as 127 were caught between July and September (pictured, the Jubilee Line today)
Westminster was a distant second place with 83 Fixed Penalty Notices in the same time frame, while Croydon had 61 (pictured, the Jubilee Line this morning)
The government threatens to take away Sadiq Khan ‘s control of TfL unless he increases fares in return for a rescue package (pictured, the Jubilee Line during rush hour today)
People have been fined in nine boroughs, made up of Barking, Croydon, Hackney, Havering, Hounslow, Lambeth, Newham, Southwark and Westminster.
A freedom of information request by the BBC showed Lambeth, Westminster and Croydon made up 75 per cent of fines between July 9 and September 22.
TfL revealed nearly 500 Fixed Penalty Notices had been dished out across the city up to October 21.
And as many as 113,000 customers had been stopped from getting on public transport until they put on a face covering.
Londoners have had to wear a mask on the network since June 15 – with the rules enforced from July 9 – or be hit with a £100 fine.
TfL said most people were abiding by the rules but action is being taken against a ‘selfish minority’.
People have been fined in nine boroughs, made up of Barking, Croydon, Hackney, Havering, Hounslow, Lambeth, Newham, Southwark and Westminster (pictured, the Jubilee Line today)
A freedom of information request showed Lambeth, Westminster and Croydon made up 75 per cent of fines between July 9 and September 22 (pictured, the Jubilee Line today)
TfL revealed nearly 500 Fixed Penalty Notices had been dished out across the city up to October 21 (pictured, the Jubilee Line this morning)
Director of Security Siwan Hayward, said: ‘We would rather people were sensible and follow the law, but we will take enforcement action when we need to.
‘To help protect everyone’s health and control the spread of the virus, it is essential that people wear face coverings.
‘The vast majority of customers are protecting others by wearing a face covering properly unless they are exempt.
‘But sadly, there is a selfish minority who are showing a complete disregard for everyone around them and who think it is ok to ignore the law.’
Mayor Mr Khan needs a £4.9billion settlement to bail out TfL for the next 18 months after passenger numbers collapsed and revenue crumbled amid lockdown.
The government gave an initial six-month package of support worth £1.6bn to the vast transport authority in May.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, wrote to Mr Khan with a series of demands in return for any financial rescue package.
The government has threatened to take away mayor Sadiq Khan’s control of Transport for London unless he cuts costs and increases fares in return for a rescue package
According to the Financial Times , the letter demanded Mr Khan increas e council tax across the city, expand the congestion charge zone and put in place higher tube and bus fares (pictured on the tube in 2016)
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, wrote to Mr Khan with a series of demands in return for any financial rescue package
According to the FT, the letter demanded Mr Khan increase council tax across the city, expand the congestion charge zone and put in place higher tube and bus fares.
It also raised the controversial topic of pushing ahead with driverless trains.
In return, Mr Shapps proposed a six-month funding deal to March 2021 dubbed ‘the H2 deal’ that would be replaced by a longer-term settlement.
But the transport secretary warned the government’s support would ‘take a different form’ if the two sides failed to strike an H2 deal or if its terms were not met.
The board of TfL is set to hold a crunch meeting on the settlement on Wednesday.
‘We will be taking reserve legislative powers allowing us if necessary to direct TfL,’ said Mr Shapps in the letter.
‘This would be combined with a further series of short-term funding settlements.’
In a reply on October 6, Mr Khan turned down the set to demands and insisted a rise in council tax for Londoners would ‘place even more reliance on an already broken form of taxation and would be regressive’.
On expanding the congestion zone, he added: ‘This blunt approach would have a catastrophic effect on the economy of inner London and beyond.’
As many as 113,000 customers had been stopped from getting on public transport until they put on a face covering (pictured, London Bridge Underground this morning)
Londoners have had to wear a mask on the network since June 15 – with the rules enforced from July 9 – or be hit with a £100 fine (pictured, London Bridge Underground today)
Commuters on the Jubilee line on London Underground network are pictured at rush hour this morning
The Government has since been accused of demanding ‘punitive’ conditions to agree the funding deal.
Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: ‘The speculation that the Government are threatening to take direct control of TfL sounds like more bullying by this administration designed to impose their will on Londoners and ride roughshod over local democracy.
‘While we await official confirmation on the future funding arrangements for transport in the capital, RMT reiterates our position that we will not tolerate any attacks on jobs and conditions from any quarter as part of any deal.’
The government’s battle with the mayor of London comes at an awkward time for devolution.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland impose their own lockdown restrictions and Boris Johnson walked away from negotiations for support for Greater Manchester.
In his letter Mr Shapps said he expected Londoners to pay more through a supplement to their council tax to help improve TfL’s finances.
He also made clear he expected the mayor to begin ‘pensions and workplace reform’ at TfL, accelerate the ‘inadequate’ progress on implementing driverless trains, cut fare concessions for children and pensioners and implement a fares increase of more than the ‘RPI inflation + 1 per cent’ model agreed in May.
The mayor has imposed a fares freeze over the past four years.
The transport secretary also urged the mayor to extend the central London congestion charging zone to cover the same areas as the ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’ from October 2021.
He compared the imposition of stringent conditions on London with the government’s ‘continued blank cheque’ for the rail industry with only minimal conditions.
A spokesman for the Mayor of London said negotiations with the Government were continuing, but added: ‘Suffice it to say there is simply no way any mayor could accept conditions of this nature, which would make it harder to tackle the virus and choke off London’s economic recovery at the worst possible time.’
Commuters at Canada Water on the Jubilee line on London Underground network today
A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘We have agreed an extension to the support period and to roll over unspent funding from the Transport for London Extraordinary Funding Agreement, allowing further time for negotiations for a new settlement.
‘These discussions will ensure London has a safe, reliable network. It would be inappropriate to disclose further details at this stage.’
TfL is stepping up its attempts to ensure passengers are safe on the Tube network by installing hundreds of UV lights to clean escalator handrails.
They use the stairs motion to power a UV bulb that is hoped to destroy coronavirus and sanitises the rail at the same time.
The devices have so far only been installed on six escalators at King’s Cross St Pancras.
But in the coming weeks they will be fitted at Bond Street, Charing Cross, Green Park, London Bridge, Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Victoria and Waterloo.
It is not clear if the method breaks down Covid-19 due to the novelty of the virus, but it has been proven to de-activate previous strains of coronavirus.
TfL found in a trial UV-light sanitising devices cleaned escalator handrails by up to 50 per cent.
Director of Asset Operations at London Underground Esther Sharples told My London: ‘We already have a rigorous cleaning regime across all of our stations but are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the transport network is as clean as it possibly can be.
‘After a successful trial, we are now installing UV light devices to continuously clean more than 100 escalators on the Tube network.
‘Customer injuries on escalators account for around half of all injuries on the Tube network and, during the pandemic, we have found that some customers are avoiding holding the handrails.’
Congestion in the capital took a tumble this morning as fewer people headed in to work and were on the school run due to the half-term holidays.
During the rush-hour peak today, the level was at just 31 per cent, which is down from 46 per cent last week and last year’s average of 52 per cent.
London Underground footfall figures for this morning have been requested from TfL.