From Monday 15 June, face coverings must be worn while travelling on public transport across South Yorkshire, in line with today’s government announcement by Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport.
Stephen Edwards, Executive Director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), said:
“The safety of passengers and staff remains our priority and this mandate will help people who have no alternative to public transport to be able to travel safely.
“By wearing a face covering on board South Yorkshire’s buses, trams, tram trains and trains you will be playing your part, protecting yourself and those around you.
“However, it is important to remember that even while wearing a face covering, social distancing remains in place on vehicles, at stops and in interchanges. This means the public transport network can only take a fraction of the passengers it did before, so please continue to avoid using public transport unless it is absolutely necessary. If possible, work from home and think about how and when you travel, choosing walking or cycling if you can.”
“We will be working closely with operators over the coming days to discuss the implementation of this new legislation in practice. People will need to take responsibility and follow this clear instruction from the government to help stop the spread of the virus in our region.”
Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis, said: “Throughout this crisis, the safety of passengers and staff on our public transport is our overriding priority. We now need clear guidance from the government on these new measures and on how they can be safely and reasonably enforced. SYPTE are working hard to ensure our buses and trams are as safe as possible, giving confidence to passengers, as well as drivers and conductors working on them.
“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 safely by our key workers and those who cannot work from home.
“My message remains the same: the more you can stay at home, the more you isolate, the safer you will be and the sooner we can get this disease under control. I urge people to use common sense and avoid unnecessary travel. Only use public transport if other methods such as walking or cycling are not possible.”
A cloth face covering can help to protect you and those around you- it can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head. The Government has published a guide to wearing and making a simple face covering at gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering
Emergency public transport timetables remain in place. Customers can get the latest information online at travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges, by calling Traveline on 01709 515151 between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday and between 8am and 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays 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