Coronavirus update - new national restrictions are in place

Stay at home. For your essential journeys, public transport is available - plan ahead and travel safely.

Visit our Coronavirus page for travel information and advice

Travelling on public transport

last updated 4 November 2020 - updated in line with Government guidance on National restrictions from 5 November  

From 5 November to 2 December national restrictions are in place which mean you must stay at home, except for specific purposes outlined on the Gov.uk website. If you need to travel please consider all other forms of transport, such as cycling and walking, before using public transport

While our public transport network continues to run, our priority is the safety of our customers and our staff. We need everyone to play their part to help people who need to travel to stay safe.


Anyone feeling unwell with symptoms of coronavirus – a new, continuous cough, loss of sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should not travel, to help to protect others from infection.

For the latest health information and advice about Coronavirus visit the NHS website:
nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

What we need you to do

From 5 November to 2 December national restrictions are in place which mean you must: 

  • Stay at home but if you need to travel try and walk or cycle if you can.

  • Avoid peak times and think about the routes and ways you travel, so that everyone has more space to stay safe.

  • Protect yourself and others by the government guidelines on social distancing wherever possible, both on vehicles and while waiting at bus stops or at Interchanges.

  • You must wear a face covering when using public transport unless you're exempt – you could be refused entry if you are not. You must also wear a face covering in interchanges and stations, as well as on board public transport, unless you're exempt. Find out more on the Gov.uk website.

  • Check in using the NHS test and trace app with the QR code posters when you're in our interchanges.

  • Carry your own hand sanitiser with you. Wash or use sanitiser on your hands before and after using public transport and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues.

  • Please follow the instructions on our notices or given by staff

  • Be patient and kind to other passengers and staff

 
Your journey may take longer than normal and some routes may be busier than usual, but please be patient and considerate of staff and other customers during your journey.

It is likely that buses will reach capacity quickly and customers waiting at a bus stop may see buses drive past with ‘Bus Full’ signs on their destination screens. 

When buses have reached capacity (all available seats taken) the driver will only pull up at the stop to let a passenger get on if a passenger needs to get off. A strict ‘one-off, one-on’ policy will be in place. First and Stagecoach have updated their apps to show capacity indicators. You can find out more on our 'When is the best time to travel' page

You will need to allow extra time for your journey and be prepared to wait. 

While capacity is reduced on buses, there may be more people waiting to board the last bus than the bus is able to carry. If this happens, operator bus drivers will be able to get in touch with the depot for assistance. You may also wish to consider alternative means of travel to complete your journey.

As always, bus drivers will use their discretion when it comes to vulnerable customers.


Face coverings

You must wear a face covering onboard public transport as well as in interchanges and stations, unless you're exempt. 

This helps to maintain a safer environment and prevent spreading the virus – you will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined. 

Don't forget you can check in using the NHS test and trace app with the QR code posters in our interchanges.

Face coverings must be worn on board public transport and in interchanges and stations 

A face covering is a cloth covering that covers your nose and mouth - you should make or buy your own. You can find out how to wear and make a face covering on the Gov.uk website.

Children under 11 don't need to wear a face covering and exemptions will apply to some passengers due to health conditions or disabilities. This includes people who have breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions, visual impairments or mental health conditions. You can find a list of exemptions on the Gov.uk website exemptions page.

If you have a health condition which means you’re unable to wear a face covering, you’ll need to let staff on board know. If it’s easier for you, you can download our journey assistance cards, and you can show the face covering exemption card when you travel.

Your driver may not be wearing a face covering if they are behind a screen, as the screen helps to provide protection.

You can find out more about the regulations on the Gov.uk website



What we are doing at our interchanges 

We’re working closely with bus, tram and rail companies to reassure people who need to travel that we're doing all we can to keep our customers safe and allow them to make the journeys they need to.

  • We’ve put focused cleaning regimes in place at all our interchanges which include extra attention to ensure doors, handrails, lifts and ticket machines remain disinfected.
  • Our toilets are free until further notice to give everyone access to handwashing.
  • We’re introducing barriers where needed, creating separate entrance and exit points to interchanges, with separate boarding and alighting where possible along with indoor and outdoor queue management. 
  • We’re working closely with local authorities to agree how to safely manage shared space to regulate customer numbers at interchanges and enable social distancing.


What operators are doing onboard

Public transport operators have stringent procedures in place to keep vehicles clean, with extra focus on common areas of customers contact. Specific measures include: 

  • increased cleaning frequency of all grab rails and poles, entrance door handles, window ledges and other touchpoints;
  • encouraging staff to increase their handwashing frequency, and providing additional cleaning facilities to enable them to do so; 
  • displaying NHS advice on vehicle; 
  • continuing to offer contactless payment on vehicle; and exact fare only cash payments to minimise contact.

We will continue to listen to customer feedback and monitor travel patterns to make service changes where they’re needed to help customers travel safely. 

You can feedback to us on our tell us form.