People across Greater Manchester are being urged to drive, walk or cycle if they have to make essential journeys - and only use public transport if they have no other option.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has made the call to help stop the spread of coronavirus, safeguard the health key workers with no other transport option and to ultimately reduce pressure on the NHS.
Passenger numbers have already dropped by around 95% on Metrolink and between 80 and 85% on buses and trains, but some people are still using services for non-essential journeys.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “This is an unprecedented national emergency and we all need to play our part and help stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives by cutting out all unnecessary journeys.
“The health and wellbeing of every person in Greater Manchester is my top priority so my plea to everyone is to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives unless you absolutely have to travel – and if you do have to travel drive, cycle or walk if you can.
“Only use public transport as a last resort if you have no other option. That will mean key workers and people making essential journeys who do need to use public transport can do so safely and follow the social distancing guidelines.
“I would also ask that anyone who does drive cuts their speed and takes extra care on the roads – to reduce the chance of any accidents occurring and extra pressure being placed on the NHS and our other emergency services at this time.
“Please stay at home, stay safe and support all of the people working hard on our behalf – the NHS and healthcare teams on the frontline, emergency services, teachers, shop workers and transport staff – plus countless others who are working hard to keep us safe and get us all though this challenging time.”
Metrolink services are also set to change maintain the resilience of key routes and protect frontline staff. From Monday 6 April services will reduce from every 12 minutes to every 20 minutes.
Bus and rail services have also been reduced over the past few weeks and further reductions are expected in coming weeks.
To further limit the need to travel, TfGM will automatically renew disability concessionary passes that are due to expire. The new passes will be valid for one year and the process will be reviewed on a monthly basis.
People are also urged not to make unnecessary journeys as we approach the weekend – stay in, protect the NHS and save lives.
Anyone who needs to make essential journeys should continue to check the Transport for Greater Manchester coronavirus webpage at tfgm.com/coronavirus for the latest travel information and advice.