With the reopening of non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality and leisure on 12th April, regional transport body, Transport for the North (TfN) have updated their guidance for Covid-safe travel on public transport.
TfN is recommending continuing to minimise the amount of journeys made where possible to control the spread of the coronavirus, suggesting that passengers:
- avoid making unnecessary trips
- combine trips where possible
- avoid using public transport during rush hour
For those who need to travel:
- walk or cycle where possible
- you must not share a car with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble, unless your journey is made for an exempt reason
- plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport
- regularly wash or sanitise your hands
- wear a face covering on public transport, unless you’re exempt
- stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)
Using Public transport
You can continue using the public transport network if you need to travel.
You must wear a face covering on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England. You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined.
Some people don’t have to wear a face covering for health, age or disability reasons.
You should remove your face covering if asked to do so by a police officer or other relevant person.
It is important to wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your face covering.
If you need to dispose of your face covering, use ‘black bag’ waste bins or litter bins. You should not use a recycling bin.
What measures are travel providers taking?
Rail networks across the north have implemented amended timetables.
These operator timetables have been informed by intelligence fed into the North of England Contingency Group, chaired by Transport for the North, and have been tailored to take account of the demand on the network.
These changes to rail provision across the region have been effective and focused, allowing those people who need to use public transport to do so safely.
The process of feeding back local intelligence to the rail industry will be maintained by Transport for the North’s Strategic Rail team throughout the crisis.
The Government has also issued safer working principles and risk assessment for transport operators and organisations.
Measures taken by the operators and Network Rail to reduce risk and ensure Covid-safe travel during the pandemic include:
- Deep cleaning of trains
- Extra sanitisation facilities at stations
- Cessation of on-board refreshments
- Contact-less payment where possible
- Closure of communal waiting rooms
- Special ticket refund and rebooking measures – including for season tickets
- Social distancing measures to protect passengers and train crews