Lancashire bus and train passengers told: 'Keep your masks on from Monday'
Passengers travelling on bus and train services across Lancashire from Monday (19th July) will still be expected to wear a face covering – in spite of it no longer being a legal requirement from that date.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport, representing bus operators across the county – including Stagecoach – says that they will also be recommending, but not demanding, face coverings for people using their services.
A spokesperson said that bus companies “will expect people to think of others and wear a face covering on board, if they can, in line with government guidance”.
“We expect many passengers will do so, as they will in other busy public spaces.
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“Operators are continuing to do everything we can to ensure people can travel with confidence. This includes delivering enhanced cleaning regimes, ensuring buses are well ventilated and providing tools such as apps to allow customers to see how busy their bus is and help plan their journey in advance,” the spokesperson added.
The operators of the Burnley Bus Company and Blackburn Bus Company say they will “recommend that our customers continue to wear a face covering when travelling with us, especially at busy times, and just as they may choose to do in other busy places”.
A message on their websites adds: “A limited number of people have been legally exempt from wearing a face covering under the existing restrictions – and we ask everyone to remember that this may be why some customers will choose not to do so from Monday.
“Our buses are clean, safe and ready to go, just as they have always been, and we will continue with the highest standards of cleaning on every bus and at our bus stations, including nightly deep cleaning inside buses using anti-viral fog, while hand sanitiser dispensers will remain on each bus.
“Colleagues may also continue to wear face coverings, we will maintain the use of screens around the cab area on board and they will also continue to be issued with their on-board cleaning kits.
“We’ll also continue to encourage keeping bus windows open this summer, so fresh air can circulate freely. This all helps everyone feel comfortable on board.”
The firms added that Transdev Go – an app from their parent company – gives live information about the space available on board their services and will help enable “everyone to travel confidently with us”.
Meanwhile, train operating companies say they have worked together to ensure there is “a consistent approach” to wearing face coverings from next Monday – with masks continuing to be required across all services.
A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, issued on behalf of operators including Northern and TransPennine Express, said: “Train operators will be implementing the government’s new guidance and expecting passengers to wear a face covering in crowded spaces, out of respect for others.
“In addition to expecting people to wear face coverings in crowded spaces, train operators will be continuing with extra cleaning. Trains are well ventilated, with air regularly refreshed – and we’ve improved information about the busier and quieter times to travel. This all means that people can continue to travel with confidence.”