Ipswich Buses Safer Travel Guidance for Our Customers

1st October 2020
Category: General News

As the Coronavirus COVID-19 continues to spread, we recognise and appreciate the increased uncertainty that this is causing. The situation has our fullest attention and the safety of our customers and colleagues is always our top priority. 

Remember these 3 easy steps when planning your journey on Ipswich Buses:

  1. Allow More Time – Your journey may take longer than normal due to reduced capacity and social distancing measures and you must allow sufficient time if your journey involves changing buses or on to different forms of transport.
  2. Check Your Bus – Use our Capacity Checker to see how quiet or busy your bus may be, which is available on the Ipswich Buses app. We encourage you to wait for a later bus if you feel you cannot keep your distance from other people. You may consider getting on or off the bus at the previous or next stop, if it is quieter.
  3. Stay Safe –  Follow government guidance and the onboard signage when traveling on Ipswich Buses

Ipswich Buses have also produced two short videos to show you the steps we are taking to keep you safe and how you can keep yourself and others safe when travelling on public service buses or school services which can viewed by clicking on the links below:

Customer COVID Safety Video

School Travel COVID Safety Video

Further Safe Travel Guidance 

Ipswich Buses are clean, safe and good to go and we have achieved Visit Britain’s official industry standard, which confirms that we are following industry and Government guidance on COVID-19, social distancing and cleanliness.

This new standard is a sign of businesses being able to demonstrate that they’re adhering to the COVID-19 guidance issued by the government for their sector, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and that they have the required processes in place.

This Safer Travel Guidance is in place to help you travel safely on our buses.

Our services are available for all types of journey, but you MUST NOT travel on our buses if you:

  • are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms
  • are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms or sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms
  • are clinically extremely vulnerable and live in an area where additional public health measures mean you have been advised to resume shielding
  • have been told by the NHS Test and Trace service to self-isolate

You should maintain a 2 metre social distance where possible, because the risk of transmission is small at this distance. If you cannot keep a 2 metre distance, reduce the risk to yourself and others by maintaining a 1m metre distance, where possible, and taking suitable precautions.

There are situations where this may not be possible, for example when boarding or alighting, on busier services, at busier times of day, when walking through bus stations and interchanges.

Social Distancing

Help keep yourself, other passengers and our staff safe by taking the following precautions:

  • limit the number of people or households that you come into contact with, for example by avoiding the busiest routes, as well as busy times like the rush hour
  • wash or sanitise your hands regularly
  • use a face covering on public transport
  • avoid touching your face
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • touch as few surfaces as possible
  • minimise the time spent close to other people, where possible
  • avoid loud talking, shouting or singing
  • dispose of waste safely, including items such as used disposable face coverings

Planning Your Journey

Before and during your journey, check for the latest travel advice or information:

Your journey may take longer than normal due to reduced capacity and social distancing measures and you must allow sufficient time if your journey involves changing buses or on to different forms of transport.

We are closely monitoring usage and there is sufficient capacity for current levels of demand at all times of day, including last buses.

You are encouraged to wait for the next service if you feel you cannot keep your distance from other people. You may consider getting on or off the bus at the previous or next stop, if it is quieter.

Facial Coverings

The government has made it mandatory for passengers to wear a facial covering on public transport.

If you do not wear a face covering you will be breaking the law and could be fined.

What is a facial covering?

You are responsible for sourcing a facial covering and advice on how to make a facial covering is available here.

A facial covering is a covering of any type which covers your nose and mouth. It is important to wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your face covering. Remember to safely dispose of your facial covering in a litter bin if it is a single use and to regularly wash your facial covering if it is reusable.

Face coverings are not a substitute for maintaining social distancing and good hand hygiene.

Who is exempt from wearing a facial covering?

There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings, and that the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • children under the age of 11 (Public Health England does not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others ‒ including if it would negatively impact on your ability to exercise or participate in a strenuous activity
  • police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public
  • people who need to take their medication

You may be asked to remove your facial covering if asked to do so by a police officer or other relevant person.

The wearing of a facial covering remains optional for bus drivers when in their enclosed cab, which provides a physical barrier between customers and drivers. Unless covered by the exemption list, all Ipswich Buses employees who are travelling as a passenger will have to wear a facial covering.

If I am exempt, how do I let the driver know?

If you are exempt, please let the driver know by:

  • Showing a Face Mask exemption card which can be obtained from our Travel Shop in Tower Ramparts Bus Station
  • Showing a government issued exemption card (phone or printed)
  • Wearing a Sunflower Lanyard
  • Using your mobility or disabled bus pass, which registers on the ticket machine and the driver can see you are exempt

Boarding the Bus

When waiting at the bus stop, keep 2 metres away from other people, where possible.

Wait for people to get off the bus before you board and only board the bus one at a time.

Cashless payment methods are preferred

Our exact fare cash payment method means you can still pay with cash. This applies to all Ipswich Buses routes, including those where drivers have normally give change in the past.

Have your fare, pass, contactless card or device, ticket or app ready when the bus arrives to minimise the time taken to board. Activate your Ipswich Buses app ticket when the bus is in sight.

All of our buses have a hand sanitiser dispenser fitted near the entrance for you to use before taking your seat.

Where to Sit and During Your Journey

We have closed some seats from use to assist with social distancing, behind our drivers cab and near the bus entrance.

It is your responsibility to keep a safe distance from other people. When you can, you should:

  • Sit in the window seat only and away from other people (except other members of your own household or support bubble)
  • Travel side by side or behind other people, not facing them.
  • Make use of the upper deck, where there is one

There are situations where this may not be possible, for example on busier services and at busier times of day. It is for these reasons that the government has mandated that you wear a facial covering.

Help keep yourself, our employees and other customers safe by:

  • respecting other people’s space while travelling
  • avoiding consuming food and drink on board
  • being aware of pregnant, older and disabled people who may require a seat or extra space
  • being aware that some individuals may have hidden disabilities
  • opening windows to allow a fresh air supply to consistently flow through the bus
  • avoiding loud talking, shouting or singing
  • disposing of waste safely, including items such as used disposable face coverings
  • being aware of the surfaces you touch and not touching your face
  • covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing

If any problems arise or you feel ill during your journey, please alert the driver. In the case of an emergency, contact the emergency services as you normally would.

If you need help, maintain a short distance from members of staff, where possible. If this isn’t possible, you should try to avoid physical contact and keep the time you spend near staff as short as possible.

Treat our Staff with Respect

All of our employees are key workers, ensuring that people who have to make journeys by public transport can do so, but they are not responsible for the enforcement of social distancing.

We are doing everything we can to protect them and you by providing them with face coverings, gloves, sanitiser, disinfectant wipes and reminding them to follow the guidelines on washing their hands and keep their distance, when they can.

Please treat all of our employees with respect and follow the instructions they may give you and follow signage on the bus, which is in place for the safety of everyone.

Getting off the Bus

When getting off the bus, press the bell in good time and remain in your seat until the bus stops. Once the doors are open, make use of the hand sanitiser near the doors and leave the bus as quickly as you can. When getting off the bus, customers who travel in a wheelchair should press the bell and wait in the bay until the driver has deployed the ramp and then moved away from the bus, to give you social distance.

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible, including for children.

What are Ipswich Buses Doing?

Our Management team are closely monitoring the current situation and taking advice from UK Government and industry bodies including the Confederation of Public Transport. Our priority is to protect the safety of our customers and our colleagues. In addition, we will continue to liaise closely with UK Government and public health authorities on any further steps we are required to take.

Further Information:

Contact our customer service team by emailing info@ipswichbuses.co.uk or calling 0800 919 390

 

 

 

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