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How to travel safely on public transport

14th July 2020 Print

Our lives have been turned upside down in 2020 as the spread of Covid-19 has sent vast parts of the world into lockdown in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Quarantine measures are being lifted in several countries now, including the UK. Public transport remained in operation through the UK’s lockdown, albeit the service has been greatly altered from the normal procedures that went before.

So how has public transport changed as a result of Covid-19? Let’s take a look.

Current safety of trains and busses

Of course, existing vehicles like trains, buses and trams, were not designed with social distancing in mind, so what is currently available to operators isn’t exactly fit for purpose.

The industry has already reacted by closing off sections of seating in a bid to maintain social distancing. This is becoming increasingly difficult with lockdown measures being eased, however, so new solutions, like longer trains have now been mooted as a way to keep people apart. 

A huge push has been made to increase signage and train staff so that people are left in little doubt as to what protocols are in place when using public transport amid this ‘new normal’.

Advice for passengers

The latest government advice remains to only travel when essential. Although many aspects of our society are beginning to reopen, such as pubs, restaurants and shops – people are still encouraged to work from home if possible.

Long commuter journeys like getting a train from Farringdon to Luton are best avoided for the time being if the nature of your work means you can do so from the comfort of your own home. Hopefully you are now well versed in the practice after several months!

If there is no option but to travel, however, make sure you wear a mask and gloves if possible to limit the chances of you picking up or spreading the virus. 

Measures that are being taken by operators

- Mandatory measures: Several operators will now not allow you to board without a face mask.

- Alterations to vehicles: Seating capacity has been drastically reduced on buses and trains to keep people further apart.

- Sanitary practices: Train and bus stations have installed hand-sanitizer stations to limit the spread of the virus.

- Schedule changes: Running fewer services and spreading them out further will cut down on congestion and help people with social distancing.

- More automation: Ticket machines and automatic barriers reduce the chances of face-to-face contact but must be regularly cleaned.