Throughout the pandemic, Wide Aisle Gates (WAGs) at most stations have been left open, as managers rightly acknowledged that swift and safe travel, rather than revenue collection, was the priority. We're now seeing manager insist that WAGs are shut, with lots more gates now fully operational. Is this a sign that our bosses want us to get "back to normal"?
At Stockwell, the open WAG last week was shut on the instruction not of the local manager, but of the British Transport Police. Never to re-open. Since when did they run the station? Tubeworker understands that LU are desperate to claw-back some of the revenue they've lost, but it's way too soon for a return to business-as-usual.
How is business-as-usual even meant to work under our "new normal"? How many of us have managed to have a successful conversation with a customer from two metres away when both parties are wearing a face mask?
It'll be down to determined action by us to know our rights and refuse to work in any unsafe situations. "The Woodhead principle" as Tubeworker will term it, based on senior stations boss Brian Woodhead's recent affirmation that people should remove themselves from unsafe situations, is going to be tested.