Lobby group calls for clarity on using public transport during pandemic


Bus Users has called for clarity on the messages surrounding travel on public transport following an easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

The bus passenger lobby group believes the current advice to avoid public transport ignores the many people for whom walking, cycling and private transport are simply not options. It also says it ignores the extensive work being done by the bus industry and Department for Transport to make bus travel safe.

Claire Walters, chief executive of Bus Users, said she wants to see greater emphasis on encouraging safe and responsible travel.

“Government figures show that nearly 1 in 5 households have no access to a car or van, while research from Transport Focus shows that 50% of passengers outside London have no access to another form of transport,” Walters added.

“While social distancing will reduce the capacity of many buses, operators have been working tirelessly to ensure they can run as many services as safely as possible, giving priority to keyworkers and helping the rest of us to get back to work.”

Walters also believes that passengers also have a key role to play in keeping themselves and others safe.

She continued: “Bus drivers in particular are at the greatest risk, and no fewer than 30 having tragically lost their lives to Covid-19. Wherever possible, passengers should wear something to cover their mouth and hands while travelling, and stay as far away from other passengers as is feasible.

“Buses have a vital role to play in getting the country and the economy back on its feet. Support and funding from Government will be crucial in ensuring this happens.”

Bus Users has written an urgent letter to transport secretary Grant Schapps calling for greater awareness of the work being done to make public transport safe.

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