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Task force to tackle rise in homeless sleeping on London’s public transport

The team will initially be given £300,000 for 18 months to help people sleeping on buses and Tube trains to find accommodation.

A new task force has been created following a surge in the number of homeless people sleeping on public transport in London.

Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that the team will initially be given £300,000 for 18 months to help people sleeping on buses and London Underground trains to find accommodation.

The number of homeless people sleeping on buses in the winter of 2015/16 was more than double the figure for 2012/13, with an increase of 121%, according to Transport for London.

This reflects a trend of rising homelessness across the capital in recent years, with 8,108 people seen on the streets last year.

Following the launch of the weekend all-night Tube in August last year, a pilot scheme of eight outreach shifts found 164 homeless people sleeping on the Underground and buses.

Mr Khan said he is “determined to make sure homeless people get the support they need”.

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Sadiq Khan is 'determined to make sure homeless people get the support they need' (Adam Davy/PA)

He added: “My new night-time transport team will work across our buses and Tubes to help people before they end up sleeping rough on the streets. I’ll continue to work closely with councils, homeless organisations and Government to make sure there is a way off the street for every rough sleeper in London.”

The new task force is part of a series of projects from the mayor’s million-pound Rough Sleeping Innovation Fund.

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