Over 200 UV light devices will be installed on 110 escalators across the Tube network.
As the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine ploughs on ahead, cutting-edge technologies are being employed to help fight the virus in the interim – and now, we’ll be seeing them on the Underground. More than 200 UV light sanitising devices are currently being installed at Tube stations across the capital, where they will be affixed to escalators in a bid to break down any viral contaminants dwelling on surfaces.
The implementation of the UV devices follows a successful six-week trial at Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, & 3 station earlier this year, which proved the UV light system could kill viruses, and improved the cleanliness of escalator handrail surfaces by over 50%. Covid-19 is too new a virus to have been rigorously tested by clinical trials using UV light (meaning we won’t know for a while whether it’s also being killed off by these devices), but with infections and cleanliness at the forefront of everyone’s mind these days, a cleaner Tube is certainly something to embrace.
Over the next few weeks, 110 escalators will see the devices fitted – that’s one quarter of all escalators on the network. Stations to see the UV lights fitted include Bond Street, Charing Cross, Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Green Park, London Bridge, Victoria, and Waterloo, whilst Kings Cross St Pancras already has six escalators equipped with the technology.
They’re clever little things, these devices; each one is connected to the escalator handrail and uses the motion of the escalator to power the UV bulbs. They join further measures that TfL is using to contain the virus, which includes using a hospital-grade cleaning substance in cleaning regimes, and installing over 1000 hand sanitiser points across the network. Do remember that UV lights are no substitute for regular hand washing and mask-wearing though, so keep doing your bit to keep everyone safe!
In other Tube news, full 4G coverage is coming to the London Underground.
Also published on Medium.