South Yorkshire bus operators move to reduced timetables in response to Coronavirus crisis

19/03/2020

TEMPORARY changes to bus services across South Yorkshire are being introduced by both Stagecoach and First buses from Monday 23 March, following new government advice around social contact and non-essential travel to help combat the coronavirus.

Travel South Yorkshire is advising passengers needing to make essential journeys on public transport to check before they travel at www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges as reduced timetables will operate across the region until further notice. The timetables have been designed to ensure that critical routes are maintained wherever possible.

Tim Taylor, Director of Customer Services for South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, says:

“Government guidance on containing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) means more people are working from home, schools are closing and social activities are on hold. This has inevitably led to a decrease in demand for bus services across the region.”

“Bus operators are also facing the same challenges as other employers, reporting an increase in staff absences as people are being encouraged to self-isolate to keep others safe. 

“But we know many people still need to travel to work, including key workers, or to support family and friends. These timetable changes will keep the bus network running for essential journeys, while responding to the impact this unprecedented situation has had on the demand for public transport in the region.”

Phil Medlicott, Managing Director, Stagecoach Yorkshire, said:

“Along with other bus operators and key sectors, we are working hard to support the national effort to tackle the current challenging situation.  The safety of our customers and our employees is at the heart of everything we do. We also know that our bus services play a vital role in keeping the country running and ensuring key sector personnel get to work.”

Garry Birmingham, Managing Director of First South Yorkshire, said:

“To help our customers and give them clarity, we are reducing our Monday to Friday services to a Saturday timetable. Where we can, we will add extra buses into peak travel periods to ensure that workers are catered for.

“It’s important to emphasise that this is a fast-moving and unprecedented challenge. We are monitoring new developments as they happen and will respond accordingly to keep all our customers informed of any further changes.”

Tim Taylor continues:

“We will continue to work with operators to monitor this fast-moving situation, liaise closely with government and other authorities, and respond as appropriate to prioritise passenger and staff safety and wellbeing.  Anyone feeling unwell with symptoms of Coronavirus – a new, continuous cough or a high temperature – should follow government advice and not travel, to help to protect others from infection.” 

Details of the revised timetables, and the latest updates on tram and rail services, can be found at travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges

Our Traveline team is available on 01709 515151 between 8am and 6pm seven days week to answer customer queries.  Travel South Yorkshire social media channels will also be updated with the latest information. 

Due to the closure of schools to most pupils, the majority of dedicated school bus services will cease. Most schools are served by commercial timetabled services, however in isolated areas some school buses may continue to operate for the time being.