Following the government’s announcement on a new 3-tier system to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Vectis has moved to reassure passengers that it is ‘business as usual’ on the Isle of Wight.
The bus operator has worked hard to reintroduce its full service timetable over recent months, with a host of safety measures in place.
Several recent international studies suggest the risk of coronavirus spreading on public transport has remained substantially low through the pandemic – due to safety measures introduced.
Andrew Wickham, Managing Director of Southern Vectis, says:
“Many local people have emerged from hibernation, after what has been an incredibly challenging year. And we are delighted to learn that this will still be the case, with our area designated as the lowest tier (tier one). And, we have special measures in place to ensure travelling on public transport is one of the safest places to be.
“We have stringent regimes in place – including extra focus on touch touch-points with anti-viral wipes. Our passengers must wear face coverings, unless exempt, and we have also given our operation the ‘belt and braces’ treatment, by also adding hand sanitisers.
“It’s about ensuring people know they can travel on our buses with confidence and, with demand for our services rising, we are pleased with the response we are seeing here.
“We will of course continue to monitor the situation and, if the government guidelines for our area does change, we will act accordingly.”
There is extra reason for people to travel by bus. Southern Vectis’ parent company, Go-Ahead Group, has carried out into active travel – with a view to improving well-being and overall health. And the results show that even walking to the bus stop can be beneficial.
“Active travel means making journeys more physically active, like walking to the shops, walking the kids to school, walking to the bus stop or cycling to work.
“The research found one particular group, ‘the unaware walkers’ engage in active travel without even realising. Walking at their own pace, in their work attire to-and-from their bus stops. They are unaware of the health benefits their walk offers. A few tweaks, like changing into trainers for the walk, could unlock greater physical and mental wellbeing.
“On top of all that, having fewer cars on the road has the potential to be a major force in combating the declining air quality and climate change – two of the biggest challenges of our time”.