Up to 40 Tube stations are to be closed as part of a partial shutdown of the Transport for London network ahead of a rumoured 'lockdown' in the capital.

In an overnight announced, TfL urged all commuters to avoid the transport system for all but "essential" travel.

To reduce the spread of coronavirus, there will be no night Tube, bus services will be reduced and the Waterloo & City line will shut completely tomorrow, Friday March 19.

Up to 40 stations that do not interchange with other lines will shut indefinitely on Friday, and TfL will gradually reduce the frequency of other services across the network to provide a service for critical workers to get to where they need to.

This follows Boris Johnson's warning that London was weeks ahead of the rest of the country in terms of the spread of Covid-19, and comes as rumours are circulating that London go into an effective lockdown.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

London's Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown MVO, said: "The advice from Government is clear - people should now only be making journeys that are absolutely essential.

"We and our staff are doing everything we can to ensure that people who need to make essential journeys can continue to do so."

He expalined: "To make sure we can do that there will be a number of changes to the services we provide, including suspending the Night Tube and Night Overground, suspending the Waterloo & City line and closing some stations to ensure we can staff key locations.

"Night bus services still continue to run so that people making critical journeys can get to where they need to at all times."

"I'm urging Londoners to only use public transport for essential journeys."

In south London, the Tube stations closing include South Wimbledon, Tooting Bec and Clapham South.

Network Rail also said that despite it being quiet, trains continue to run.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister urged those who can to work from home, and for the public to avoid bars, pubs and restaurants.

This was followed by a sharp drop in the numbers of people using public transport, which led to a report that TfL would be reducing services and could lose up to £500 million.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: "People should not be travelling, by any means, unless they really, really have to.

"Londoners should be avoiding social interaction unless absolutely necessary, and that means they should be avoiding using the transport network unless absolutely necessary.

"London will get through these extraordinarily challenging times, and ensuring the capital's critical workers can move around the city will be crucial.

"Frontline staff across our health and care service - as well as those ensuring Londoners stay safe and can access food and other essentials - should be commended for their hard work. We owe it to them to do whatever we can to help them do their jobs effectively.