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Fare cuts for Friday journeys in London to be trialled | UK News

London’s mayor has announced a £24m plan to slash peak time train fares on Fridays.

Sadiq Khan asked Transport for London (TfL) to trial off-peak fares all day on Fridays for three months in a bid to increase passenger numbers and boost the economy.

While TfL figures show midweek travel on the Tube is at 85% of pre-Covid levels, the figure for Fridays is just 73%.

On TfL and mainline rail services in London, peak fares apply on weekdays between 6.30am and 9.30am and between 4pm and 7pm.

Commuting by Tube from Zone 6 into Zone 1 at peak times costs £5.60 per journey. During the trial, the same route would cost commuters £3.60.

Mr Khan said he wants “everyone to be able to make the most all week of living or working in London”.

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The London mayor then said: “London has really bounced back since the pandemic, but the lack of commuters returning on Fridays is a clear exception – with a major knock-on effect on our shops, cafes and cultural venues.

“That’s why I’ve asked TfL to trial off-peak fares on Fridays, and I encourage Londoners to get involved.

“A trial will help us to see if it’s an effective way of increasing ridership and giving a welcome boost to businesses as we continue to build a better, fairer, more prosperous London for everyone.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of industry body UKHospitality, added: “There’s no doubt that Fridays have suffered as a result of changes to working patterns since the pandemic, and hospitality businesses have felt that loss of commuter trade.

“Responding to these challenges with innovative trials like off-peak Fridays is exactly the type of flexible approach needed to boost journey numbers and stimulate footfall in our venues.”

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Fares frozen & £250m more in funding

It comes a week after the London mayor announced TfL fares will be frozen until March next year, paid for by allocating £123m of Greater London Authority funding.

TfL will also receive £250m in extra funding from the government, which will be invested into new projects

Rail minister Huw Merriman said the £250m deal would have “a tangible, positive impact, not just for people travelling in and around the capital, but also the millions who visit every year”.

TfL welcomed the funding, saying it was “grateful for the support,” but it still claimed the network was being hit by a “continuing shortfall in funding” from Whitehall to pay for its day-to-day operations.

‘Pioneering’ new smart glasses to be trialled by nurses to help them spend more time with patients | Science & Tech News

New virtual reality-style goggles are to be trialled by nurses on home visits, in an effort to maximise the amount of time spent with patients, the NHS has said.

Smart glasses will, in real time, transcribe appointments straight to electronic records, so the time spent doing administration tasks is reduced.

In turn, more time will be available for nurses to carry out clinical duties such as checking blood pressure, checking wounds and assessing health needs.

It is estimated that community nurses spend more than half their day manually inputting data and filling out forms.

The goggles include thermal imaging to help assess how wounds and injuries have healed and will allow staff to share live footage directly with hospital colleagues to get a second opinion.

Nurses in the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust area will begin the trial next week with patients who give consent for the tech to be used.

NHS director for transformation Dr Tim Ferris said: “These new smart glasses are the latest pioneering tech and really show us what the future of the NHS could look like.

“They are a win-win for staff and patients alike, freeing up time-consuming admin for nurses, meaning more time for patient care.”

The software used in the smart glasses, dubbed A.Consult, were developed by Concept Health, with founder Farhan Amin saying: “As the smart glasses learn from each patient encounter, it will automate key tasks currently performed manually, giving staff time back to deliver holistic person-centred care to each patient.”

Undated handout photo issued by NHS England of a nurse wearing a NHS high-tech goggle which is being used on home visits to maximise time with patients, as part of a new NHS trial.

Clinical nurse specialist Becky Birchall said her team are “excited” to be the first in the country to take the devices on community visits.

“We currently spend a considerable amount of time writing up our visits to patients, and these cutting-edge goggles will really help to cut down the time we need to keep for admin, supporting us to care for our patients,” she said.

The trust was awarded £400,000 by NHS England to trial the technology as part of wider innovation, which will see a further 16 pilot schemes in the coming months – with the NHS Long Term Plan committed to using the latest technology across the country.