AHEAD of a further relaxation of Government restrictions, which will see more businesses and venues reopen on 4 July, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) is reminding customers what to expect if they are starting to travel again for the first time since lockdown.
“The UK government is still asking people keep public transport free for essential travel and enable safe journeys for people who have no alternative”, says SYPTE’s Director of Transport Operations Pat Beijer.
“If you need to travel, please try walking or cycling, if possible, and stay local to relieve pressure on the public transport network. But if you have no alternative to public transport, please avoid the peak travel times and wear a face covering for your entire journey. If we all play our part we can keep the network safer.”
Even with recent changes to social distancing guidelines, the number of people that South Yorkshire’s transport network can safely carry will still be limited and customers will experience a different transport network to the one they were used to before the pandemic.
New signage, posters and platform stickers have been installed across the network, helping everyone to maintain a safe distance. One-way systems and queuing arrangements will be in use wherever needed and hand sanitising points have been installed across the region’s transport interchanges for everyone to use.
“We’ve put enhanced cleaning regimes in place at all our interchanges which include extra attention to ensure doors, handrails, lifts and ticket machines remain disinfected and our toilets are free until further notice to give everyone access to handwashing. Everyone should wash or sanitise their hands at the beginning and at the end of their journey and carry hand sanitiser with them if they can”, says Pat Beijer.
Customers are reminded that they must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth for their entire journey, unless they are exempt. Exemptions include people who have trouble breathing, children under the age of eleven and anyone who finds it difficult to manage them correctly.
To support people who are exempt from wearing a face covering, Travel South Yorkshire has introduced an exemption card which customers can print off and carry with them or display on their phone, to show if they are asked why they aren’t wearing a face covering. This can be found at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/en-gb/journeyplanning/Journey-Assistance-Cards
Customers are reminded to treat everyone with respect and compassion, and to understand that some people are unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons that may not be immediately obvious. Transport staff are not required to wear a face covering when they are not in public areas, including tram, train and bus drivers when they are in the driver's cab and staff working in control centres or in maintenance areas.