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New trial makes escalators less likely to spread Covid

A TRIAL has been started at a London terminus in which ultra-violet light is being used to disinfect escalator handrails.

Since Covid can be spread by contact, the aim is to make the handrails virtually free of contamination so that passengers can hold on to them more safely.

Equipment inside the escalator casing shines the light on the moving handrail as it passes, and such light is said to be 99.99 per cent effective.

Engineers have installed the device in one of Euston’s six escalators as part of the test, which is one of several different trials Network Rail is carrying out in its stations to keep surfaces clean.

Euston station manager Joe Hendry said: ‘Throughout the pandemic station cleaning teams have made a heroic effort to protect passengers from harmful germs and control the spread of coronavirus. I’m proud this technology is part of a Network Rail trial at London Euston as the rail industry shares best practice as we emerge from the pandemic. I hope this UV technology will give passengers returning to public transport confidence when lockdown travel restrictions can be eased.’

Sanitiser and anti-viral treatments on common touch-point areas like doors and ticket machines are also continuing to be used.

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