Stagecoach reduce social distancing on buses
Concerns expressed after public transport operator decides people can sit closer together
Bus operator Stagecoach has this afternoon announced they are going to allow more passengers on their bus services with people now allowed to sit closer together.
The announcement comes just days after Banbury FM shared news of a Banbury woman who will not use the bus service into town due to concerns she wasn’t properly protected against coronavirus when on board.
In a message sent to bus users this afternoon Stagecoach say, “As lockdown restrictions continue to ease and more people are travelling we’ve reviewed our seating guidance so we can safely carry more passengers”.
In addressing the issue of passengers now being allowed to sit closer to each other Stagecoach say, “With the virus now more controlled, the alert level has been reduced and there has been a relaxation of social distancing measures across other sectors in England”.
Earlier this week we reported that a lady passenger (who asked to remain anonymous) took a trip from Hardwick to Banbury town centre last Wednesday. She told us, “Several passengers boarded the bus after me with no face covering and I was shocked and rather concerned that the driver didn’t say a word”.
In the document issued today Stagecoach say, “Now that everyone who can is wearing a face covering on board it was time for us to make a few changes. Along with other public transport operators, we’ve carried out a risk assessment which means one person can now sit on each double seat, in a zig-zag formation. This will allow more people to safely travel on our services”.
The document also advises what a person should do if the person in front of or behind them isn’t wearing a face covering. It says, “There will be people who aren’t wearing face coverings because they’re exempt for various reasons so please remember to be kind. If you feel uncomfortable sitting in front of or behind them choose a seat further away or across the aisle”.
We shared Stagecoach’s plans with the lady who’s story we had shared earlier this week. She told us the new plans made her even more worried than before. She said, “To say a passenger can get up and move if a non-mask wearer takes a seat too near is unrealistic; there won’t always be a vacant seat to move to, and both parties could feel very uncomfortable if attention is drawn to the passenger moving away due to a non mask wearer.
“I would be happy with the closer distance if mask wearing really was mandatory, and those not wearing a mask having to produce evidence to say why, and an area further away from other passengers could be set aside for them.
“This virus could be a death sentence to many having to use the bus service”.
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam