Since 23 March concessionary bus pass holders have been accessing additional earlier services before 9.30am. This was initiated as bus services were quieter and it allowed pass holders to access priority shopping sessions during the Coronavirus lockdown.
With more shops set to reopen and bus services returning towards normal levels, bus pass use will revert to normal timings on Monday 15 June. Bus pass holders are also being advised to make their journeys at quieter times throughout the day where possible. Services are often busy immediately after 9.30am when free travel for pass holders starts on weekdays.
Morebus advise they are operating 80% of the journeys that they ran prior to Coronavirus and Yellow Buses will have service levels at 80% from 14 June.
Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Transportation and Infrastructure, said: “We were pleased to support peak time bus travel for bus pass holders, but shops and businesses are reopening, as lockdown measures ease, so some services used by commuters including key workers will be busier. Avoiding busy times at bus stops by travelling on quieter routes or off peak will help to maintain social distancing, and if you have symptoms please avoid travelling.”
Local bus operators are reassuring the public of their extensive cleaning regimes. Bus users are reminded that the wearing of face coverings is now required whilst travelling to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Passengers should also wash hands regularly and carrying hand sanitiser is recommended.
Adjustments to help maintain social distancing are already underway at transport hubs; Poole Bus Station has seen some stands relocated, and work is due to start in Bournemouth at both Gervis Place and the Travel Interchange.