With temperatures soaring once more, Tube passengers are being reminded of the need to stay cool and carry a bottle of water with them.
Transport for London has teamed up with ethical water company Belu to hand out 43,500 bottles of water to passengers using the network’s busiest stations.
Belu is the exclusive bottled water partner of WaterAid, and donates all of its profits to the charity to support its efforts to provide access to clean water and sanitation to some of the world’s poorest communities.
Asked whether it was covering the cost of the water to ensure no money was lost to the charity, a TfL spokesperson said: “Belu have chosen to give this water away for free as part of their work to raise their profile and that of their partnership charity WaterAid.”
The spokesperson added that WaterAid had been given permission to fundraise at stations during the giveaway.
TfL says passengers travelling during warm weather should ensure they carry water with them and refrain from boarding their train or bus if they feel unwell.
Tube users needing help are also urged to avoid pulling alarms between stations, and to get off at the next stop were help can be more easily provided.
London Underground Chief Operating Officer, Phil Hufton, said: “We are very grateful to Belu for supplying our customers with bottles of water.
“I’m sure it will be welcomed by customers as temperatures are set to rise, and I hope that it gets across the advice that we are giving to customers to carry water while travelling on the Tube. If this proves popular, we will look to develop similar partnerships for the benefit of our customers in the future.”
Belu’s Karen Lynch said: “It’s essential to keep hydrated when commuting in the heat. We’re excited to be working with London Underground and to be able to show Londoners that by buying Belu you can demonstrate you care about people and the planet whilst on the move.”
Anissa Msallem from WaterAid added: “The heat wave conditions we’ve been experiencing really bring home the importance of safe, clean water. Together with Belu we want to raise awareness of the millions of people who still live without access to this essential resource.
“Hopefully from today, Londoners will think of choosing Belu as their bottled water choice, and help some of the world’s poorest people to access clean drinking water.”
Commenting on TfL’s failure to cover the cost of the water, Green Party London Assembly Member Jenny Jones said: “Handing out water on the baking tube is a good idea, but every bottle represents a loss in profit to Belu, which means less money going to the charity WaterAid.
“I’m surprised Boris has let this happen. We all know his views on ‘stealing’ from poor Venezuelans; what about stealing from other poverty and drought stricken countries? Boris should make a donation to WaterAid immediately.”
In response, City Hall spokesman said: “The Mayor and TfL are happy to be supporting WaterAid raise the profile of the work that it does across the world and both WaterAid and Belu are happy with the partnership established.”