Social distancing expected on PCVs

Transport Focus finds 62% will not be comfortable with public transport unless social distancing in place

Transport Focus is calling for reassurances for passengers as 62% say they would not feel comfortable using public transport unless social distancing is in place.

A survey by the independent watchdog found nearly two thirds said they expect social distancing to be in place on transport after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: “After months of being told not to travel people will understandably be fearful about venturing out. The Government must outline in its upcoming roadmap for easing lockdown what measures it will put in place to reassure people they can travel safely.”

While people in London are more likely to say they will look to cycle and walk more, rather than catch public transport, those outside London are more likely to say they will switch to driving. Transport Focus and London TravelWatch are calling for governments to ensure that ‘active travel’ is encouraged, to prevent roads becoming more congested.

Key survey findings:

  • 83% think hand sanitiser should be available on public transport vehicles, at stations and at stops
  • 62% won’t use public transport unless social distancing is in place
  • 51% wouldn’t be happy using public transport unless passengers are required to wear face masks

People aged 18-24 are most comfortable about returning to public transport (40%). People in Scotland (32%) and the West Midlands (29%) are the most likely, with those in the north-west least happy (19%).

CPT Chief Executive, Graham Vidler, said: “The public are understandably nervous about returning to normal life, including using public transport. However, operators are doing everything they can, including enhanced cleaning regimes, to keep staff and passengers safe.

“We are preparing to build upon our emergency network to one with more comprehensive links so that we can play a central role, which the research shows will be required, in helping people get to work or to see family and friends when the Government says it is safe to do so.

“In order to provide this expanded network we need investment from government and clarity on what social distancing measures it plans to have in place to ensure we can continue to provide a safe bus service.”

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