Passengers asked to stay safe and travel at quieter times as COVID restrictions ease
Passengers in Greater Manchester are being encouraged to keep doing their bit by travelling safely at quieter times and planning their journeys in advance when coronavirus restrictions are eased on Monday.
With the reopening of indoor hospitality, cinemas, theatres and indoor and outdoor events from Monday 17 May as part of the next step on the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and operators are looking forward to welcoming more people back on-board public transport.
Because of this, services are likely to be busier at peak times. As social distancing remains in place on public transport – along with the requirement to wear a face covering (unless exempt) – passengers are being encouraged to travel at quieter times if possible. This means between 10am and 3pm, and after 6pm during the week. In addition, those able to work from home should continue to do so.
Businesses reopening from Monday are asked to encourage and support their employees to travel at quieter times, for example by offering flexible working and enabling staff to walk and cycle to work. They are also asked to share safe travel advice with their customers. TfGM is offering guidance for businesses on its Travel planning for business webpage and they can also sign up to the Business Travel Network.
Stephen Rhodes, TfGM Customer Director, said: “It’s great news that we’re moving in the right direction and government restrictions are continuing to ease. But as there will be lots more places open for people to enjoy, there will also be more passengers using public transport.
“We’re ready to welcome people back, with extensive cleaning taking place day and night, social distancing measures in place and dedicated staff working to assist passengers, including our Trambassadors on the Metrolink network. But please be aware that some services may be busier than usual.
“So please plan ahead and travel during quieter times if possible, and continue to follow hands, face, space and fresh air safety advice.
“If you’re reopening your business, please consider how you can make it easier for your staff and customers to travel at quieter times and help to support the safe reopening of Greater Manchester.
“And if you’re using public transport you should also bear in mind that, while some coronavirus restrictions are easing, you must still wear a face covering on-board and in stations and interchanges, unless you’re exempt.”
Anyone planning on sharing a lift or taking a taxi or private hire vehicle should wear a face covering and open the windows if possible.
People are also being encouraged to consider cycling or walking if they can, especially for short trips. Greater Manchester currently has 108 cycling and walking projects on its books, worth a total value of over £500m, and is building the UK’s largest cycling and walking network.
TfGM and other transport operators continue to work hard to help keep passengers who use public transport safe:
- Hand sanitiser dispensers have been installed at bus stations and on buses, at interchanges and on the busiest Metrolink stops.
- Commonly touched surfaces including handles, rails, buttons and doors are being disinfected and cleaned regularly.
- Fresh air is being kept flowing on trams, buses and trains.
- People with hidden disabilities are being supported to give them the confidence to travel safely.
- Police and TravelSafe officers regularly patrol the public transport network to promote safe travel and engage with passengers about coronavirus rules and guidance.
- A range of tickets and passes are available to help people travel more flexibly.
Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office
0161 244 1055