Transport and parking

The Council and Transport for London (TfL) are making a number of changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To support this please avoid all but essential travel.


Parking for NHS staff and social care workers

To enable those who work in health services or deliver vital community support to more easily park and access people’s homes the Council has suspended enforcement of its on-street and car park facilities for NHS and social care staff.

These staff need to photocopy their identification card or employees letter and clearly display it on the dashboard of their vehicle. Drivers are reminded that it is of the utmost importance that they do not park dangerously or causing an obstruction on the road or footway as the Council will treat this seriously and will issue a PCN and if required will relocate the vehicle. 

Parking enforcement

Parking management is an important public service, which provides benefits to motorists and the wider community. Those benefits include reducing congestion, maintaining road safety, improving air quality, whilst helping to ensure access to goods and services. This is extremely important, particularly for health and other key workers, as Richmond Council aims to keep the borough moving and providing essential services at this challenging time.

As we move into the month of May it becomes increasingly apparent that the Council must look to protect the organisation of these services along with the changing parking needs of residents and returning businesses.

The Council will therefore continue to provide parking enforcement of the serious 'higher level' contraventions and incidents of obstructive or dangerous parking that could have a more significant impact on safety and traffic flow. This will include yellow lines at road junctions, the obstruction of dropped kerbs, footway parking that intrudes upon pedestrian access, any loading yellow line restriction, zig zags at crossings, specific parking bays (for disabled parking, loading, electric charging, doctor or car club) taxi ranks and bus stops.

Residents and businesses with permits in Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) are still currently permitted to park on single yellow lines without penalty until Monday 25 May 2020. Exceptions are where there are safety risks e.g. corners of junctions, across dropped kerbs and on double yellow lines. Residents or businesses without a permit or that hold a recently expired permit will need to apply/reapply for a dispensation or permit by Monday 25 May 2020.

Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) will continue to grant a 20-minute grace period (increased from 5 minutes) for unauthorised parking (in all but demonstrably unsafe or obstructive instances) until Monday 25 May 2020. CEOs will be advised to use further discretion depending on the circumstances. In all instances, owners leave their cars here at their own risk and we ask residents to consider the impact of their parking on access needs and safety.  

The Council will also renew enforcement all on-street parking charges (such as parking meters and pay and display machines) from Monday 25 May 2020, and until then Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) will only be issued in incidents of obstructive or dangerous parking.

In all cases, please do not park in locations where doing so could endanger fellow residents. If you are instructed to move your vehicle by an Enforcement Officer, please do so. If you do not, your vehicle may be moved.

Roads will be very congested with parked vehicles during this time. Please adhere to the 20mph speed limits to keep yourself and others safe.

We will review these changes daily.

Blue Badge enforcement

Acknowledging that local authorities may have to delay processing new Blue Badge applications and reapplications, and may also have an existing backlog of current applications, the UK and devolved governments and local government associations are advising that local authority parking teams should not issue Penalty Charge Notices to citizens using Blue Badges with an expiry date of 1 January 2020 onwards. This relaxation of enforcement against expired Blue Badges should continue initially until 30 September 2020.

TfL roads

TfL have temporarily suspending the Congestion Charge, Ultra Low Emission Zone and Low Emission Zone in order to help our critical workers get to work and for essential delivery activity to occur. More information.

Public transport

In line with Government plans to increase national rail services, TfL is working hard to return Tube and bus services to normal levels while many of their staff are themselves ill, shielding or self-isolating.

By next week TfL plans to increase service levels to around 85 per cent on the bus network, 75 per cent on the Tube and London Overground (in line with national rail services), 80 per cent on the DLR and a full service on TfL Rail.

However, given the national requirement to maintain 2 metres distance between passengers wherever possible, the capacity on all services will be hugely reduced. On the Tube, for example, capacity will only be around 13-15 per cent of normal even once services are back to full strength.

This means transport must operate very differently.

In line with Government advice, everyone who can work from home should continue to do so. Public transport should be avoided, wherever possible, to free up the limited space available to those who have no alternative way to travel.

If you must travel, please plan ahead and travel outside of the busiest times, particularly first thing in the morning. The busiest times on the network are 05:45 to 08:15 and 16:00 to 17:30. It would help enormously if you were able to travel outside these times if you possibly can. 

Please also try to take the most direct route and avoid busy interchanges.

TfL has  produced a list of the busiest times and places on our Tube and rail network. This list and the busiest times might change over time. 

TfL is also updating our digital tools such as journey planner, our Facebook TravelBot and the real-time data they provide to third party apps.

TfL is taking measures across the network to enable social distancing of 2 metres wherever possible. Please wear a face covering and respect the space of fellow passengers to help maintain this distance. Do not travel if you have any symptoms of the virus.

You may be asked to wait to enter a station. Some stations will have one-way systems, or you may be asked to walk on the left. You are also asked  to maintain social distancing throughout stations, for example on stairs, escalators and in lifts.

If travelling by bus, please maintain social distancing at stops and bus stations wherever possible. Currently you will also need to board the bus using the middle doors. Please allow other passengers to get on and off while maintaining social distancing. 

When in the bus please use all available space, including the upper deck, if possible, to maintain social distancing.

Consider walking or cycling

If you can, please walk or cycle for all or part of your journey, including to complete your journey if travelling into central London. Please consider getting off a stop or two early to reduce the numbers of people travelling on Tubes and buses.

Congestion Charging

To prevent London’s roads from becoming unusably congested, the Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be reintroduced on Monday 18 May.

These schemes reduce congestion and pollution and help tackle the climate emergency. If your place of work is located inside the Congestion Charging Zone and you are an employee of an NHS Trust, the London Ambulance Service or a care home, please speak to your employer about the NHS reimbursement scheme. 

The Low Emission Zone, which discourages the use of the dirtiest lorries and large vans, will also be reintroduced at the same time.

TfL is doing everything it can to maintain the cleanliness of the network with regular cleaning using hospital grade antiviral disinfectant.

It is also important that you continue to follow the Government advice on hygiene. Please wash your hands before and after travel and carry hand sanitiser with you. 

TfL is also putting hand sanitiser dispensers in Tube and bus stations as quickly as possible. 

Please check for updates before making your journey.


Due to COVID-19, temporary adjustments have been made to the Taxicard scheme to help support its members. You may now use a Taxicard without the member being present, for example, to collect a prescription.

South Western Railway

  • A reduced service will be running to allow for SWR staff sickness
  • Please check train times before travelling

Updated: 18 May 2020