As the region enters local restrictions, bus company East Yorkshire is reminding passengers bus travel is safe and has introduced even more safety measures to help protect bus users. These have been implemented in time for people doing their Christmas shopping and to help encourage them not to use their cars, keeping congestion low.
From this week, East Yorkshire’s buses across Hull, the East Riding and North Yorkshire will start to be fitted with hand sanitiser units, allowing passengers to clean their hands when they board and alight.
The bus operator has also introduced new cleaning verification technology to assess cleaning effectiveness. The new device can be used on high-touch areas on buses to see levels of biological residue in as little as 10 seconds, helping to inform and improve the cleaning process. Regular spot checks will be carried out each day and cleaning will be stepped up further where needed.
These measures are in addition to regular disinfectant ‘fogging’ of buses, extra cleaning of touchpoints throughout the day, driver protection screens, social distancing measures with reduced capacities on board, and the requirement for passengers to wear face coverings.
Area Director Ben Gilligan commented: “We want to make it clear that buses are safe as our passengers consider travel options for Christmas shopping, and these additional measures make our buses cleaner than ever.
“There is no evidence of increased rates of infection from the use of public transport and our new cleaning verification processes confirm the additional cleaning is working, while allowing us to extend this further if necessary.
“For much of the pandemic, buses have been able to deliver their timetable commitments successfully due to lower traffic volumes, which has made journeys more predictable for those who have continued to travel with us. It would be a great shame to see this deteriorate with increased congestion.”
In all local restriction tiers, passengers can continue to travel to venues and amenities which are open, such as shops, hairdressers and takeaway outlets, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys made. East Yorkshire are also asking people to travel outside of the morning peak on weekdays, to allow additional space for school and college passengers.
Tools on East Yorkshire’s website and mobile app allow passengers to plan the best time to travel. ‘When2Travel’ forecasts when journeys will be the quietest, while the company’s bus tracker shows how busy buses are in real-time. These tools also help plan the use of extra buses on the busiest routes.
Ben Gilligan continued: “There are no restrictions on who can use public transport and the recent lockdown advice of ‘essential journeys only’ has now ended.
“It is vital we give people confidence to return to public transport if we are serious about reducing pollution and congestion, and we’re hoping all the measures we have in place to help people plan their journeys and stay safe on board will encourage people back to the bus in the weeks up to Christmas.”
Find out more and plan journeys at eastyorkshirebuses.co.uk or on the East Yorkshire Buses app which can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App Store.
[Rhys Plater – East Yorkshire]