At Rotala Plc, and all of our subsidiary Companies our foremost priority throughout the Coronavirus pandemic is the safety of our passengers, staff and of the business, in order that when we eventually come out of this crisis, we are in the strongest position possible to resume to normal service and operations.
To protect out passengers we have developed the following on board protocol to meet the HM Government and Public Health England social distancing guidelines and facilitate the travel of key workers;
- Posters are displayed at bus stations, appropriate bus stops and on-board reminding passengers that the Public Health Advice is to stay at home and only travel if essential.
- We are maintaining essential routes only, we have sought to maintain critical routes that support NHS workers, as well as trying to consider the needs of our communities.
- Passengers will be required to leave the adjacent seat next to them vacant. There will be no standing passengers where 2 metres cannot be observed. Drivers will monitor this and advise passengers if the vehicle is at capacity under this protocol and when the next bus will be arriving.
- We will support passengers at this challenging time with increased communication via social media, our customer services team continuing to man the phones, we will place staff at bus stations to assist where possible and staffing levels permit.
- We already have well-established cleaning regimes but we have introduced more intensive cleaning regimes in respect of hand poles and grab rails on our vehicles that remain in service to protect both passengers and staff.
We absolutely recognise the dedication and professionalism of our staff, particularly our drivers at this challenging time. We have developed the following strategies and communication to seek to protect our drivers as part of this on-board protocol. In seeking to protect our staff we recognise we face the same challenges as many other businesses/services such as the NHS and other keyworker roles; nevertheless we thank our staff for providing this essential service that is maintaining the NHS, shopworkers, facilitating senior citizens and passengers to get essential items or access medical / pharmaceutical needs.
- Where available we will provide hand sanitiser, gloves and face masks. Supplies nationwide and throughout the business are impacted by demand but we will work tirelessly to obtain and maintain supplies throughout the operation. Staff are permitted to use their own.
- Onboard posters will advise passengers that they MUST leave the adjacent seat vacant and there is no standing on buses where the 2m cannot be observed. Drivers will have the right to refuse passengers travel whereby the vehicle is at capacity by observing this social distancing measure.
- Where drivers feel they are having difficulty with a passenger deliberating flouting social distancing measures, they will have our support to ask the passenger to leave the vehicle and where necessary we will contact the police for support. We will place posters onboard asking passengers to respect our drivers and the work you are doing, that we will not tolerate verbal abuse or any deliberate flouting of social distancing measures and that we will seek to prosecute any persons who threaten the wellbeing of our drivers.
- Onboard posters will encourage passengers to make contactless payments to help support social distancing measures.
- Increased and deeper cleaning of our vehicles in the cab area shared by drivers, on the vehicles that remain in service will occur as well as other cleaning measures such as hand poles and grab rails where passengers have more contact.
Our Chief Executive Officer, Board of Directors and Managing Directors are diligently reviewing every aspect of the business from tendered service and contractual obligations, to financial measures and accessing any business solution HM Government have put forward to assist UK businesses at this time.
- We have taken measures to reduce our cost base and reserve cashflow. We have taken all actions to stop non-critical cashflow.
- All external spend is now subject to additional scrutiny and approval levels reduced.
- All acquisition and capital expenditure programmes are on hold.
- We are working closely with contracting authorities and local governments to maintain some forms on income, where possible.
- We will look to take advantage of the Governments announcements of access to additional lines of credit for businesses like ours.
- Where appropriate staff have been placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furloughed
- We have moved to board meetings occurring by conference call. All meetings and events and non-essential travel has been cancelled.
- We are expecting and preparing for requests from local government and HM government to assist the NHS and other health and welfare services with transportation services.