Mayor and transport chiefs plea for public to avoid unnecessary travel

13/05/2020

Mayor of the Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis and South Yorkshire’s transport chiefs are calling on people to avoid public transport where possible, to allow those that need to use it to stay safe, as Government sets out a roadmap to ease coronavirus restrictions.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE) Executive Director, Stephen Edwards, said: “The Government’s roadmap will mean changes need to happen to the way in which people travel. While our public transport network continues to run - allowing the region’s NHS and key workers, and those that can’t work from home, to make essential journeys - our priority is the safety of our passengers and staff. We need everyone to play their part, so services can safely continue to connect people to places, as coronavirus restrictions ease. 

“Public transport should be avoided where possible to allow those that need to use it, who have no alternative, to stay safe. National social distancing requirements mean South Yorkshire’s buses, trams and trains cannot run as normal – they can only carry a fraction of the number of people they would have before the pandemic.”

People are being asked to walk or cycle when they do need to travel short distances and only use the car as a last resort if they need to travel longer distances.  

Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis, said: “As restrictions are eased by Government we are urging people to only use South Yorkshire’s public transport network when absolutely necessary, so our buses, trams and trains can be used by key workers and those who cannot work from home.

“Please continue to stay at home if you can. If you do need to travel, please walk or cycle where possible, and continue to exercise locally. Employers can help by supporting home working, staggered shifts and flexible working patterns, to ease the pressure on our network at peak times.

“Public transport has proved invaluable during the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure that key workers are able to get to work and essential journeys can be made. It will continue to prove vital as we move into recovery but we must behave responsibly so the network can continue to serve key workers. Please continue to respect staff and fellow passengers if you do need to travel.”

The national requirement to maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible means that South Yorkshire’s bus, tram and train networks will only be able to carry around 13-15 per cent of the normal number of passengers even when 100 per cent of services are operating once again over time. Travel may take longer than normal and some routes may be busier than usual due to social distancing measures and previous changes to timetables.

Edwards, added: “Together we must all do what we can to contain coronavirus. So, we’re calling on the public to continue to follow the guidelines – asking them not to travel unless they have to, stay local if they can and walk or cycle where possible. If you need to use public transport, aim to wear a face covering and keep a safe distance. Consider if your journey is necessary before travelling, avoid peak times and think about the routes and ways you travel, so that everyone has more space to stay safe.”

Emergency public transport timetables remain in place. Customers can also get the latest information online at travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges, by calling Traveline on 01709 515151 between 8am and 6pm, seven days a week, or on Travel South Yorkshire’s social media channels. 

Detailed information about travelling and staying safe will be regularly updated at travelsouthyorkshire.com/coronavirus reflecting Government guidance. Government guidance is available at gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers