“We shall get through this” – Reading’s Chief Engineer

Reading Buses’ Chief Engineer, Bill Gough, is confident the industry will pull through the difficulties the coronavirus presents.

With a 26-year bus-industry career behind him, Bill is fully confident the sector will be stronger and more resilient as the country comes out of the lockdown. Although there are currently fewer people travelling on the network, Bill is spending many hours a day looking at every scenario to safeguard passengers. This includes liaising with industry bodies and other operators nationwide to find ways of introducing new measures which will strengthen and improve bus travel longer term.

Bill said: “As an industry, we are all in the same boat metaphorically speaking. We are facing the same challenges and we need to learn from each other.

“In terms of bus practices, we don’t necessarily share the same commercial elements, but when it comes to vehicle technology we are of a like mind.

“We shall get through this 100% and be stronger for it”

“A huge number of the population rely on public transport and the challenge is to get members of the public from A to B in a safe way. It’s all about how we keep vehicles clean, surfaces sanitised and how we maximise the capacity of a vehicle whilst moving to closer distances of one metre. We are continually thinking about that.

“How we can put shielding up on vehicles to maximise the space. We are looking at every possible scenario to safeguard passengers. It’s an opportunity for us to look at everything we do.

“We can potentially re-engineer the way we engineer a vehicle and we can do things differently. When we reach a new state of normal we can look to do things differently and not necessarily the way it has always been done in the industry in the past.

“For example, we can change the seating configuration on a vehicle to achieve the necessary separation of passengers.

“We shall get through this 100% and be stronger for it.”

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