Current government advice is for people to only use public transport for necessary journeys such as getting to work if they have no alternative, and to consider walking or cycling instead if they can. Bus operators in Lancashire have been operating much reduced timetables since the lockdown began, but are putting more regular services on from June as more people start to return to work with some businesses reopening. Timetables will still be reduced from normal with services focused around peak times. Operators will be running more vehicles to meet demand as social distancing measures mean that the number of seats available will be much reduced.
Passengers are being advised to check with their operator before travelling for details of services and safety measures, and to avoid travelling at peak times if possible. Government advice to people using buses includes to wear a face covering if they can.
County Coun. Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Bus operators are increasing the number of services from this weekend but the key advice remains to only use them for necessary journeys to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. Bus operating companies and their staff have played a vital role in this crisis so far by ensuring people who provide essential services can get to work, and by only using the bus if you really must you will help to protect them. If you need to travel, please check times and safety advice on operators' websites as there are a number of things they are asking people to do, such as social distancing while queueing, wearing a face covering, and following directions on where to sit. We'll be working with bus operators to monitor demand, and try to fill any gaps as necessary. I'd ask people to let us know if they have feedback on services, and please be patient as operators adjust to try to safely meet demand in still very difficult circumstances."
Rob Jones, managing director for Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire, and chair of Lancashire Public Transport Operators Association (LAPTA), added: "Buses are going to continue to play a crucial role in the country’s recovery ahead. As well as helping restart our economy, they are vital in bringing normality back to many areas of our daily lives. They keep families and communities connected and have a major role in delivering a safer, cleaner and healthier country. The bus operators of Lancashire are proud to serve our communities and we are delighted to be stepping up our services from June 1st. It means we can provide significantly more regular services and more capacity overall as people start to return to their everyday lives. We will continue to work with government and local authorities to ensure we can target services where they are needed most. The safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority. With the extensive measures we have taken and the support of our passengers, they can be confident our buses will be clean, safe and ready to go."