As the UK government is trying to encourage people to return to use public transport, Bus Users, a UK charity working to make public transport inclusive and accessible, carried out a survey to find out how passengers feel about getting back on board. The survey, which attracted 440 responses, asked people about their use of the bus and coach before and after lockdown, and their attitudes towards Covid-19 security measures.
The survey suggested that 40% of people are willing to use the bus more in the future. However, 32% of users are still avoiding using it, compared to just one per cent before lockdown. For longer-distance travel, 56% reported having used a coach before lockdown, whereas now lockdown has eased, 60% of people say that they will not be travelling by coach.
Regarding people whose children will be travelling to school by bus, there has been virtually no reported change and, while some people reported concerns around COVID-19, 31% reported having no choice but to let their child use the bus.
With respect to Covid-19 security measures, 70% of respondents were concerned about other passengers not wearing face coverings. This was mostly felt by people with a medical exemption, 63% of whom reported being uncomfortable about not wearing a face covering and 39% of whom wear a face covering despite having a medical exemption. Meanwhile, 16% of people who do not wear a face covering because of a medical exemption reported being challenged by a driver or staff member and seven per cent said they had been challenged by another passenger.
Bus Users called on government, local authorities and operators to do more to ensure that people feel safe and confident about travelling by bus and particularly by coach. They also suggest that more needs to be done to improve awareness of medical exemptions from face coverings so that people who are unable to wear a mask can travel without being made to feel uncomfortable, challenged or even abused by others.
For more information, see the full report:
Photo Credit: © 2shrimpS/Shutterstock.com - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.
Original article published by Intelligent Transport on 16 September 2020.