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Coronavirus: Harrogate buses 'ready to go'

Coronavirus: Harrogate buses 'ready to go'

Published by Lisa Darvill at 2:49pm 28th May 2020.

Main image: Peter Bowman (left) and Martin Sykes from The Harrogate Bus Company

The Harrogate Bus Company says it's added more capacity ahead of the easing of coronavirus restrictions. 

  •  From this Sunday timetables on many of its services will be revised
  • Additional journeys and extra buses will be in place at busy times to allow more room for social distancing
  • It's also issued some advice for passengers if they are travelling 

"If you need us, we’re here."

That’s the message from bus operator The Harrogate Bus Company to its customers as it prepares to introduce additional capacity to many of its routes – providing more buses and extra space for customers and colleagues while ensuring effective social distancing continues.

As Government restrictions during the Coronavirus pandemic begin to ease, The Harrogate Bus Company is also releasing a series of easy-to-follow messages to its customers. 

From this Sunday (31 May 2020) timetables on many of its services will be revised, with additional journeys and extra buses in place at busy times, to allow more room for social distancing on board.

The changes will see the frequency of many of the most popular services significantly increased, including:

  • The 36: A bus every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday between Harrogate and Leeds, plus every 30 minutes on Sunday. Buses will also run every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sunday between Ripon and Leeds.
  • The 1: Buses every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday between Harrogate and Knaresborough, with buses every 30 minutes on Sunday

As part of its daily cleaning regime, a powerful anti-viral mist is sprayed through its buses each night – with further deep cleaning at bus stations and destinations throughout the day. 

The Harrogate Bus Company CEO Alex Hornby said:

“An immense amount of work is going on every day behind the scenes to make sure our buses are safe for everyone to use. We’re constantly monitoring customer numbers and adding in extra buses wherever we see journeys becoming busier, so everyone can space out and to enable effective social distancing.

“Our message is fully in line with the Government’s current advice but, as lockdown measures ease, we feel now is the right time to explain more about what we’re doing to keep our customers safe, and what you can do to help when the time comes for you to step on board our buses.

“With extensive cleaning throughout the day and plenty of room on board, right now our buses are among the safest places you can be when travelling. Our collaborative approach sees us introduce a range of initiatives led by colleagues and stakeholders to promote safety on board our buses. All our team continue to be hugely positive and their incredible efforts have got us all through the pandemic – my sincere thanks go to them all.

“The experience gained during the lockdown is helping us to plan ahead now as people begin a limited return to work. We will provide the quickest and best value solution to congestion and air quality in our towns and cities as we move beyond the pandemic – and in the meantime, our buses are clean, safe and we’re here if you need us.”

The Harrogate Bus Company is installing additional signs on buses and at key bus stops and bus stations giving simple guidance to safe travels. K

Key advice to protect customers and staff includes:

  • Clear and easy to follow guidance – signposted at bus stations and key bus stops as well as on every bus
  • Planning a journey? – please bring hand sanitiser and tissues just in case – and wear a face covering if you can
  • Before you board – information displays to make sure there’s room for everyone, with key sources online for up-to-the-minute travel information, and ensuring people prioritise essential journeys
  • As you board the bus – step on board one at a time, maintaining social distancing as you go. Also, try to avoid using cash, pay by contactless or using the ‘Transdev Go’ mobile app. Protective screens are in place between you and your driver to keep everyone safe
  • As you travel – look around. Can you space out more? Limits on customer numbers on each bus are in place, with extra buses running so everyone can spread out. If you need to cough or sneeze, please use a tissue, and take it with you when you leave the bus. Open windows can help to let fresh air flow through your bus as you go
  • Leaving your bus – please remain seated until the bus stops. Clear markings on the floor show where it is safe to stay until the doors open and you are ready to leave. Look around to maintain a safe distance from other customers – and please make sure you take all your belongings with you as you go.