Official transport guidance published for next stage of England’s lockdown
Posted: 12 May 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The advice sets out that if people cannot work from home, they should first consider alternatives to public transport, but if this is unavoidable they must follow a set of safety recommendations.
New guidance published by the UK Department for Transport has provided advice on how passengers should make journeys safely, following the publication of the government’s roadmap and strategy for the next phase of the pandemic. It urges people to consider cycling, walking or driving to help ensure there is enough capacity for those who need to travel on public transport to do so safely.
As the Transport Secretary stated on Saturday 9 May 2020, even as public transport begins to revert to a full service, the two-metre social distancing rule would only leave effective capacity for one in 10 passengers on many parts of the network.
Those driving their own cars have been asked to avoid busy areas.
For those who have to use public transport, the guidance for passengers on how to travel safely recommended:
- Keeping two metres apart from others wherever possible
- Wearing a face covering if you can
- Using contactless payment where possible
- Avoiding rush hour travel where feasible
- Washing or sanitising your hands as soon as possible before and after travel
- Following advice from staff and being considerate to others.
All transport operators have been issued guidance on ensuring stations and services are regularly cleaned, making clear to passengers how to stay two metres apart where possible in stations, airports and ports, and to ensure routes for passengers are clearly communicated to avoid crowding. The government’s guidance also sets out steps that operators should take to provide safe workplaces and services for their staff and passengers across all modes of private and public transport. Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer transport guidance for operators.
To help reduce pressure on the transport network so there is space for social distancing where possible, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has reportedly spoken to train and bus operators and local authorities to ensure they increase the number of available services over the coming weeks.
Shapps said: “Transport operators and staff have been working hard to ensure that people who need to get to work are able to do so, including crucial NHS workers and all those on the frontline of the fight against the virus.
“Alongside the cycling and walking revolution we are launching, and clear guidance to passengers and operators published today, we can all play our part by following the advice and reducing pressure on public transport.
“If we take these steps, all those who need to use public transport should feel confident that they can do so safely, with the space to maintain social distancing as far as possible.”
This follows the Transport Secretary’s announcement of a £2 billion package of cycling and walking investment and the fast-tracking of e-scooter trials.