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Christmas campaign launched urging people to wear a face covering

2 December 2020

The West Yorkshire Bus Alliance have launched a new campaign urging people to wear a face covering both on board public transport and in Bus Stations and transport hubs across the region. The Bus Alliance is a partnership of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and local bus operators tasked with improving bus travel across the region.

The campaign comes as a reminder as our region enters Tier 3 of the national restrictions. and people start to think about the festive period. It seeks to remind how everyone can help to stop the spread of the virus by wearing a face covering. The campaign will be promoted across the bus network and on social media urging people to maintain vigilance and not spread the virus. It features the message: “Keep yourself and those around you safe this Christmas”.

Local Police Community Support Officers will assist on the ground and help reinforce the important message that wearing a face covering is mandatory, except for those with certain health conditions and children under the age of 11, for the entirety of people’s journeys. Failure to wear a face covering on public transport can result in a fine of up to £6400.

Passengers, unless exempt, have been required to wear face coverings on public transport since June. Daily logs taken at all West Yorkshire Bus Stations shows that around three quarters of people are wearing a face covering.

This new campaign reinforces the message that passengers must adhere to the rules to protect both themselves and others when travelling around West Yorkshire. The Combined Authority is committed to ensuring public transport and Bus Stations are as safe as possible for both passengers and staff and this campaign is just one of several steps taken to ensure this.

The Combined Authority and bus operators have put in place additional measures to ensure that passengers are able to travel safely across the transport network. These include:

  • Social distance signage and guidance on where to sit
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitising of buses and at bus stations focussing on contact points
  • Some seating has been removed at bus stations to help accommodate passengers while maintaining social distancing

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“The message is simple, please wear a face covering unless you are exempt. Whilst most people are adhering to the rules, through this latest campaign we want to encourage everyone to help protect themselves and those around them by wearing a face covering when travelling across West Yorkshire by public transport.”

“We have been reminding passengers for months to wear face coverings and this latest campaign highlights the importance of reducing infection in the run up to Christmas and in the winter months.”

 

Patrick Sibley, Area Managing Director of Arriva Yorkshire and Yorkshire Tiger, said:

“Arriva has seen good levels of face covering compliance from the majority of our passengers since this was mandated by the government in June this year.

However, there is still a need to focus on this key COVID19 safety measure, particularly as we approach the festive period.

We believe this latest campaign, which is focussed on reiterating key guidance around the requirement for customers to wear face coverings, will further support the continued efforts to reduce the impact of COVID19 across the region”

 

Martin Hirst, Commercial Director of First West Yorkshire, said:

“We’ve seen the benefits and confidence in safety that wearing a face covering gives to everyone using our buses.

"The majority of our customers are complying and this has remained so as more people travel, which is great to see and the right thing to do, so we encourage our customers to carry on, wear one and support this campaign.”

 

Alex Hornby, CEO at Transdev, said:

“Together bus operators in West Yorkshire are pleased to have seen so many customers embracing the need to wear face coverings since these became mandatory earlier in the year.

We are sure everyone appreciates the need for us to continue to talk about face coverings and the benefits they bring, to make sure the numbers of customers wearing them remains high.

We believe our joint campaign will ensure buses remain clean and safe for customers, as more people begin to travel after this latest lockdown and over the festive period.”

 

Assistance cards

Whilst the campaign urges all who can to observe the rules and wear a face covering, some people using public transport may legitimately not be wearing a face covering. People exempt from the rules include children under the age of 11 and those with disabilities or breathing difficulties. Assistance cards are available to help people communicate they are exempt from wearing a face covering and can be downloaded from the wymetro.com website.

The latest travel information is available at www.wymetro.com.

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