Passenger Social Distancing Update

08 June 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges for bus companies in recent weeks. During the period of lockdown the health and safety of drivers and passengers, largely key workers and those needing to access essential local community shops and healthcare, has been our main priority and we have already put a number of measures in place to ensure people can travel safely.

As the government announces a gradual easing of lockdown, we are working with the local transport authorities to build up to resuming full service. However the way you travel will change for the near future. Government guidelines suggest that still only essential journeys should be undertaken on public transport and strict social distancing rules should be implemented across all operators services.

A number of social distancing measures will be in place when service resumes. We are required to operate services at lower capacity and buses will have to carry less passengers than normal. If the bus gets too busy, the driver will display a ‘Sorry Bus Full’ sign on the destination blind and we would ask you to be patient and wait for the next service to come along. Drivers will only allow new passengers onboard when others get off the bus. The number of people our buses can carry varies depending on the size of the bus, so please look out for signage on the bus to guide you.

When boarding the bus, please allow other passengers to get off before getting on and keep a sensible distance between you and others while waiting.

When paying for your ticket, passengers are encouraged to pay by cashless methods where possible. Contactless payment and mobile app tickets are available across all Hallmark services. If you don’t have these methods to pay, please try to have the correct fare available as we have recently adopted a no change policy to reduce the need for cash handling.

Latest Government Guidelines stipulate that from 15th June, the wearing of a face covering whilst travelling on public transport will be compulsory. With some exceptions such as young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties, passengers not wearing a face covering will not be able to travel.

Passengers will be asked to take a window seat and refrain from sitting next to other passengers, unless they are from the same household. You should also leave space infront and behind you. Windows may be kept open to improve ventilation around the bus. Travellers are advised to wash hands before and after travelling and to use hand sanitiser when you are out and about. Most importantly, if you, or anyone in your household experiences symptoms of coronavirus, please do not travel, stay home and follow Government guidelines.

During the pandemic we have introduced more intensive cleaning regimes during evenings when buses are stationed at their depots. Every bus has also been fitted with an anti-bacterial disinfectant kit for the drivers use; this can be used to clean the drivers working area and anywhere on the bus should they deem it necessary while out in service. Drivers also have access to visors and gloves to wear while on duty.

As part of measures to prepare for an increase in passengers, we have also invested in thermal fogging equipment for each depot to eradicate Covid-19 virus on our buses. The thermal fogging equipment passes EN 14476 tests, which means it is effective against Coronavirus Covid-19. As part of the Rotala Plc Group, we are the first UK Bus company to introduce 100% daily vehicle sanitisation using this method across our fleet, vehicles will be treated every night so passengers can feel confident that vehicles pose no Covid-19 health risk at point of run out. Our staff have been fully trained and certified in disinfection fogging and use only the approved Covid-19 disinfectant that is also fabric friendly and safe to use.

The challenges of operating bus services during these difficult time are not yet over, but we hope that the measures we have in place help to keep our passengers safe and confident to travel when they need to do so.

Further Information:

A face covering does not need to be a surgical mask, it could be a bandana or scarf. The government has set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home here

For the latest up to date information from the Government regarding travelling on Public Transport, click here

For the latest advice from the Government regarding Coronavirus, click here

This page was update on 5th June 2020.

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