More buses to return to service from Monday

Posted On 28 May 2020 at 5:50 pm

More buses are expected to be operating across Brighton and Hove from next week as the coronavirus lockdown is eased.

Brighton and Hove Buses managing director Martin Harris said: “From Monday 1 June there will be a very significant scale up in service, virtually doubling the total level of service from 40 per cent to around 80 per cent.

“The bus network plays an essential part in the careful re-opening of society and of the economy.”

It would, he said, “support key workers, those beginning to return to school and those who will increasingly be needing to get about to shop and, in due course, to meet with family and friends once again”.

The Spearhead

Mr Harris added: “While we still advise essential travel only, the new service levels have been set for each route following detailed analysis.”

The analysis has looked at passenger numbers on each route during the lockdown and has taken taking account of the need to support social distancing rules.

Brighton and Hove Buses said: “New service levels are very much underpinned by our continuing commitment to make travel on our buses as safe as possible.

“With the extra capacity from twice as many buses out in service, social distancing limits will continue to be monitored and applied to every journey.

“The new lower capacity levels, which includes 24 on bendy buses and up to 30 on double-deckers, will be clearly displayed on the side of our buses from Monday 1 June.

“Seating within two metres of the driver will continue to be unavailable as will rear facing seats, but the other seating can be used flexibly to enable people to distance according to the circumstances.

“Families and people travelling together can of course legitimately sit together so the flexibility allows people to apply common sense to the distanced seating patterns.

“There are plenty of communications on our website and board the bus to help with this.”

Mr Harris said: “Just as at the supermarket, our drivers are ‘at the door’ and will keep an eye on total capacity.

“If drivers need to put up the ‘full’ sign on the front of the bus, until space becomes available again, we will ask people to work with us and respect the advice of the driver. Such instances will be monitored and will inform further decisions on service provision.”

Martin Harris

The bus company also said: “Cleaning regimes are being maintained at the highest standards, including higher frequency interior cleaning and additional on-street cleaning that targets high touch point areas.

“Additional cleaning is also being completed by a team of drivers who are volunteering to work as cleaners. We are using hospital grade virucide in our cleaning products.

“To further help passengers plan their journeys in advance of travel, and so they can choose journeys which have lower loadings, we are working with sister companies on a new ‘when to travel’ app that will keep customers informed and help spread journeys beyond the busiest peak periods.

“This is about to be tested and we confidently expect to make it available to Brighton and Hove passengers very soon.

“The health and welfare of our colleagues as well as our passengers is important. Throughout covid-19 we have worked with Unite, the union, to do everything possible to protect our colleagues at work.

“New risk assessments have been in place for a while now and we are a covid-19 safe certified employer.”

Mr Harris added: “PPE (personal protective equipment), safe practices, limiting of cash contact and intense cab cleaning and sealing have all contributed to keeping infection rates to almost zero in a workforce of over 1,500 people.

“We are determined to keep it that way.”

  1. Darren Reply

    Buses should be free for people on benefits and unemployed.

    • John Reply

      And why exactly do you think that?

  2. Dave dave Reply

    Shame, it’s been really peaceful without the stinky diesel fleet.

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