Here are the dos and don'ts for bus passengers as Go North East brings in emergency timetables
Bus giant Go North East is introducing an emergency timetable after a huge drop in demand following the coronavirus outbreak.
The company, which runs services throughout Sunderland, South Tyneside, East Durham, Hartlepool and Northumberland, says customer numbers have fallen by around 85% since the onset of the crisis.
Services will run “at least hourly” from Saturday, March 28, with recently added early-morning journeys maintained for key workers.
Go North East has also issued bullet-point advice to customers on how to queue, pay and sit on its buses. Namely:
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Social distancing – try to sit two metres apart, so one person to a seat, at least every other seat, where possible; Boarding one at a time – only one person should stand on the entrance platform at a time and stand behind the new line; Paying with contactless or buying in advance on the app – wherever possible, only use cash as a last resort; Coughing or sneezing hygienically – if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your arm; Not travelling if you are unwell – if you feel unwell, please do not travel. If you have coronavirus-like symptoms call 111; Washing your hands – try to wash with soap and hot water, or hand sanitiser, for at least 20 seconds before and after travelling.
With services reorganised, buses may also not be in their usual colour scheme.
Martijn Gilbert, Go North East’s managing director, said: “We’re working hard to provide the right level of service as we balance the needs of our communities in connecting key workers
and providing essential journeys for those who need them, as well as the safety, wellbeing and long-term job security of our colleagues.
“Having seen an 85% drop in passenger numbers means we must adapt our operations.
“We also need to reduce the number of colleagues working, following the Government’s advice for as many people as possible to stay at home, especially those with any vulnerabilities themselves or with family members.
“I am immensely proud of the hard work and resilience shown by our team as we continue to play our part in keeping the essential parts of society moving during this crisis.”
The new emergency timetables are available at www.gonortheast.co.uk/coronavirus.