As residents prepare to travel to work again BCP Council is implementing a series of measures to support bus passengers across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
Creating additional space for people to socially distance, implementing temporary barriers at queuing points, as well as relocating bus stops at key locations all feature as part of the emergency plans to support residents travelling by bus.
Adjustments are already underway to Poole Bus Station which will see some stands relocated, and work is due to start in Bournemouth at both Gervis Place and the Travel Interchange. The work follows the Government’s guidelines setting out the conditions for easing lockdown and the steps that will be taken to enable more activities to take place whilst continuing to control the spread of COVID-19.
Around 25million bus journeys a year are made across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole making the area the third highest in the country for bus travel.
In response to the Government’s latest guidance advising people to avoid public transport if possible, the Council and bus operators are working together to implement measures that support bus passengers in minimising contact and containing the virus.
Councillor Andy Hadley, Cabinet Member for Transport, BCP Council, said; “I am pleased to support our local communities and bus operators by carrying out these urgent works which will enable people to socially distance at key locations across the towns.
“With more people being encouraged back to work we know some residents will be feeling anxious about using public transport again. We have worked extremely hard in getting more people to use the bus as their preferred choice of transport and we will continue to work with both bus operators while we move through the next stage of the pandemic building confidence again for our residents.”
Government guidance for those travelling by bus includes:
- Travel at off-peak times
- Take a less busy route and reduce the number of changes
- Wait for other passengers to get off before boarding
- Keep 2m away from people where possible
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after completing your journey
Measures have also been made on buses with enhanced cleaning regimes implemented and seating blocked off to support social distancing.