Returning to Public Transport

36 Replies, 3342 Views

With the opening of all non-essential retail on the 15th June, when will people be comfortable using public transport for non-essential journeys again? 

I'm assuming it's unlikely that there'll be a government announcement that bus/train enthusiasts can now ride to your heart's content - but if shops such as Primark are reopening, with public transport enforcing social distancing, then this means that people will likely be using public transport for non-essential travel (Though anecdotally many members of the public have been doing this throughout lockdown anyway).

Edit: I believe Stage 1 still advises against use of public transport wherever possible, with this not being mentioned in 2/3 so it is my assumption that the government are expecting people to use public transport again from June/July.
Non-essential shops that do reopen from 15th June will have to obey the 2 metre rule, if this can not be met than the shop stays closed.


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Travelling for travelling’s sake (i.e. enthusiasts) should be discouraged as long as services are running at a reduced capacity. If there’s the risk a person’s pleasure journey could prevent a genuinely needy passenger’s journey, besides the health risks.
(26 May 2020, 12:52 pm)James101 Wrote: Travelling for travelling’s sake (i.e. enthusiasts) should be discouraged as long as services are running at a reduced capacity. If there’s the risk a person’s pleasure journey could prevent a genuinely needy passenger’s journey, besides the health risks.

I'd absolutely agree - in terms of going for a jolly I don't think that's on the cards until social distancing is relaxed somewhat (so likely July/August). 

I'm unsure on how comfortable I am with using the bus to go to shops though. As you say, I don't want to be in a position where I'm going to get some unnecessary shopping on the bus and someone going to work can't travel - I guess the solution would be to travel outside the peaks but that doesn't avoid shift workers. The other possible option where appropriate, for those on non-essential journeys, would be to offer themselves to get off if a key worker needed to travel.
(26 May 2020, 9:43 am)cbma06 Wrote: Non-essential shops that do reopen from 15th June will have to obey the 2 metre rule, if this can not be met than the shop stays closed.


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Not strictly true. Where social distancing isn't possible (including the back area of some shops and food providers) as long as PPE is offered (for employees) and Customers wear a face covering the shop can trade.
Wistfully stuck in the 90s
(27 May 2020, 10:36 am)Ambassador Wrote: Not strictly true. Where social distancing isn't possible (including the back area of some shops and food providers) as long as PPE is offered (for employees) and Customers wear a face covering the shop can trade.

The 2m rule is pretty arbitrary anyway, other countries have set theirs to 1.5m, or even 1m, so there mustn't be that much science behind it.
My guess is they went with 2m because it's a round number more than anything else, and they could roughly equate it to 6ft for the older people (who seem to ignore it anyway!)
(27 May 2020, 10:36 am)Ambassador Wrote: Not strictly true. Where social distancing isn't possible (including the back area of some shops and food providers) as long as PPE is offered (for employees) and Customers wear a face covering the shop can trade.
Can't see that working too well, though. Just picked up a prescription from the local chemist. Took a mask with me, though I don't habitually wear one. 2 guys left with no face covering at all. More concerning, the door was shut, so I had to touch it to get in and out.
(27 May 2020, 4:46 pm)BusLoverMum Wrote: Can't see that working too well, though. Just picked up a prescription from the local chemist. Took a mask with me, though I don't habitually wear one. 2 guys left with no face covering at all. More concerning, the door was shut, so I had to touch it to get in and out.

Being asthmatic, I can barely breathe when I wear a mask, unless it's a proper respirator type one. Plus, wearing a mask is more about stopping you spreading things rather than preventing you catching it. 

What worries me is the general lack of awareness around how disinfectants work, it's no use spraying and wiping straight off, that does nowt. You have to let it sit for a while before wiping. So when you go to Aldi and give it a quick spritz with the anti-bac and wipe it straight off, you haven't really done anything.

What's worse is the shops where they have trolley washing facilities but no hand sanitizer, they expect you to touch a dirty trolley, take it in, touch the spray bottle (which is already covered in germs), wipe down the trolley, then touch it again with the dirty hands you touched it with before. Completely defeats the point of wiping it down in the first place!
(27 May 2020, 6:48 pm)streetdeckfan Wrote: Being asthmatic, I can barely breathe when I wear a mask, unless it's a proper respirator type one. Plus, wearing a mask is more about stopping you spreading things rather than preventing you catching it. 

What worries me is the general lack of awareness around how disinfectants work, it's no use spraying and wiping straight off, that does nowt. You have to let it sit for a while before wiping. So when you go to Aldi and give it a quick spritz with the anti-bac and wipe it straight off, you haven't really done anything.

What's worse is the shops where they have trolley washing facilities but no hand sanitizer, they expect you to touch a dirty trolley, take it in, touch the spray bottle (which is already covered in germs), wipe down the trolley, then touch it again with the dirty hands you touched it with before. Completely defeats the point of wiping it down in the first place!
I struggle with a mask on, too but have some specifically for small shops.
I'll not be using it anytime soon. Not even for work.

I think operators have improved standards in terms of cleaning, which is good, but they cannot take responsibility for the (lack of) personal hygiene of customers. Not worth the risk imo.

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(01 Jun 2020, 3:41 pm)Adrian Wrote: I'll not be using it anytime soon. Not even for work.

I think operators have improved standards in terms of cleaning, which is good, but they cannot take responsibility for the (lack of) personal hygiene of customers. Not worth the risk imo.

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While I haven't been on the bus in the last week so can't comment on what it's like now, last time I did I felt a lot safer than I did whilst shopping in the likes of Aldi, at least I didn't have people literally leaning over me to get to a block of cheese!

I've get to go to an Aldi that feels clean, everything just looks and feels dirty. You can see clean patches on the floor where they took up the old social distancing signs whereas every bus I've been on feels immaculate.

Like you say though, it's the other passengers that are the issue, in particular the older people, they seem to be going around like normal! 
That, and the fact that some of the people who get on the 49 at Teams look and smell like they haven't had a shower this century just puts me right off!
Owing to family members with breathing difficulties, I am unlikely to be getting on public transport any time soon or in a very limited capacity at least such as a hospital appointment next month which I can't drive home from but can seemingly go for a test drive up to Barnard Castle.

As much as I want to return to some level of normally and resume my usual activities such as bus bashing I feel it's going to be a fair while until this becomes something that I can do again, not only that but with buses running at roughly 25% capacity it's just not right IMO getting on buses for non essential reasons right now, saw a photo of my local service the other day which is currently running on an hourly frequency with 'Bus Full' on the blind so I don't want people who need to be places getting left behind by me having a jolly.

I'm hoping for September that I can return to travelling and spotting again as per pre lockdown especially as I have trips booked which I've already had to alter, I will however be continuing to spot in a limited capacity by driving to locations where social distancing is possible.
(02 Jun 2020, 9:30 am)Jimmi Wrote: Owing to family members with breathing difficulties, I am unlikely to be getting on public transport any time soon or in a very limited capacity at least such as a hospital appointment next month which I can't drive home from but can seemingly go for a test drive up to Barnard Castle.

As much as I want to return to some level of normally and resume my usual activities such as bus bashing I feel it's going to be a fair while until this becomes something that I can do again, not only that but with buses running at roughly 25% capacity it's just not right IMO getting on buses for non essential reasons right now, saw a photo of my local service the other day which is currently running on an hourly frequency with 'Bus Full' on the blind so I don't want people who need to be places getting left behind by me having a jolly.

I'm hoping for September that I can return to travelling and spotting again as per pre lockdown especially as I have trips booked which I've already had to alter, I will however be continuing to spot in a limited capacity by driving to locations where social distancing is possible.

I would personally have no issues riding the buses 'recreationally' during off-peak times where the chances of other passengers being on board are low, especially routes like the X21 where even pre-covid you could have the whole upstairs to yourself for the full journey.
Plus, it looks like with the new counting feature on the ticket machines they'll be able to keep the app up to date with passenger numbers so you can see how busy the bus is before you get on, and they'll have data to estimate how busy services usually are.
(02 Jun 2020, 2:58 pm)streetdeckfan Wrote: I would personally have no issues riding the buses 'recreationally' during off-peak times where the chances of other passengers being on board are low, especially routes like the X21 where even pre-covid you could have the whole upstairs to yourself for the full journey.
Plus, it looks like with the new counting feature on the ticket machines they'll be able to keep the app up to date with passenger numbers so you can see how busy the bus is before you get on, and they'll have data to estimate how busy services usually are.

Transdev are in the process of introducing something along those lines: https://m.facebook.com/notes/the-north-w...755601723/
(02 Jun 2020, 3:11 pm)Jimmi Wrote: Transdev are in the process of introducing something along those lines: https://m.facebook.com/notes/the-north-w...755601723/

Yeah, MG has mentioned it a few times now so hopefully it should be coming to GNE soon. 
It's probably something they've been working on in the background for a while but they're having to bring it forward
Had my first bus ride for quite a while today. Had to travel to Swalwell to collect my car following it's mot and annual service. Had the pleasure of witnessing a middle aged chav woman who had just came from hospital threatening to bite someone's face off. The joys of public transport. I have not used the Metro since March.

Charles
I haven’t been on a bus since 27th February (100 from Newcastle to Metrocentre btw) and not planning to anytime soon unless it’s a last resort, bit of a problem though the last couple of days as had to borrow my mams car to go out yesterday for some spotting (socially distanced of course) and shopping on the way home as my car has a clutch problem (pedal goes straight to the floor and can’t get in gear).


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(02 Jun 2020, 8:33 pm)Charles41 Wrote: Had my first bus ride for quite a while today. Had to travel to Swalwell to collect my car following it's mot  and annual service. Had the pleasure of witnessing a middle aged chav woman who had just came from hospital threatening to bite someone's face off. The joys of public transport. I have not used the Metro since March.

Charles

Did you not know they were automatically extending the mot? Everyone due one beyond the end of March, got another few months free due to the current situation.
Appreciate the service might have needed doing like. The folks are still getting theirs done, as it is due a service.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
(02 Jun 2020, 3:11 pm)Jimmi Wrote: Transdev are in the process of introducing something along those lines: https://m.facebook.com/notes/the-north-w...755601723/

When this is introduced by the NE operators, I'll personally feel far more comfortable about using public transport to head into Newcastle or even just have a small trip out on the bus to somewhere for exercise. 

I live on one of the last stops before my service runs express into the city, so if it's indicating as reasonably quiet I know I'll get a seat and the only people I may inconvenience are those waiting at Gosforth - but they have a plethora of services. Though I will only travel off peak until social distancing is relaxed or service frequencies are further revised. 

In terms of using the bus to head somewhere for exercise, if this is introduced it should help people plan. Say if you check on a Monday and Tuesday how busy the service you intend on using is, you'll have a fair idea on the Wednesday whether you'll be inconveniencing others. 

I think the key is the government relaxing social distancing to the 1 metre followed by many other countries - instantly you'll increase capacity on buses to a reasonable volume (especially on double deckers).
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52909787

A Welsh minister is suggesting pre-booking may be the answer.
Whilst I understand where he is coming from, I'm not sure it would do the industry any favours at all. Certainly not in the short or medium term.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'