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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.

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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.”

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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.

Andrew adds:

“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”.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Karn Evil 9

Stop all EXEMPTIONS as a lot of people are taking the p**s now, make everyone weak a face covering, especially now, or are you too precious to wear one, or maybe just bloody selfish and not care about others. All the myths, stops oxygen getting into my lungs, false, PTSD, really?? mental health issues, then don’t go out if you are that bad, I won’t be muzzled, it’s not a muzzle you can still talk. Bigger fines should be introduced and allow shops to prevent people from entering if they are not wearing coverings, at the moment even though mandatory… Read more »


Well said.


You really are a sad person.

Karn Evil 9

Nah don’t think so. Just saying how it is.


Maybe a dose of covid might help you change you selfish opinion


It wasn’t a selfish comment perhaps I should have expanded my opinion. There are people who throughno fault of their own who suffer from conditions that allow them to not wear a mask. Thank your lucky stars that you are not one of the unfortunates. As for your wish for me to suffer from Covid it shows how low a person you are. A nasty despicable comment. But you know what I wouldn’t wish it on you or anybody.


Volunteers for Covid Marshall to ride on each bus?


Count me in.


People who don’t wear masks are same people who leave dog pooh in the middle of the pavement and a million and one other incomprehensible antisocial acts, they are from Venus basically not quite in tune with what it is to be a responsible person either through upbringing or just cerebrally, something not quite right.. Perhaps it’s a virus like Corona that makes them like that?

John Miller

People who don’t wear masks are same people who leave dog pooh in the middle of the pavement”….I wear a mask,but I still let my dog leave its poo on the pavement.There’s a lot of people on here spouting comments they cant back up!


Can’t really believe this comment, and if can’t understand what’s wrong with it.. well I just give up!!!

John Miller

You are right not to believe this comment as I made up the fact I have a dog,it’s so easy to make up your own facts like your generalisation about the type of people who don’t wear masks………by the way I have a cat which I allow to sh!t in other peoples gardens.


The common denominator is lack of respect for other people, it’s other people that step in dog pooh and other people who get Corona when people don’t wear masks, it’s just simple respect for other people, why would that be difficult..

Lady Dunstanding

I can’t abide dog poo on pavements, so whenever I see it I pick it up and pop, or sometimes squeeze, it through the nearest letter box.

Lady Dunstanding

Fantastic stuff, Karen! I love your material… Keep it coming. Regards, Lady Dunstanding.

Karn Evil 9

typo “wear” not “weak”


Always grateful for our excellent bus service here on the Isle of Wight.
Local bus travel is essential and it is nice to have such a reliable service.
Thank you!


Exemptions should be issued by thier GP that way it keeps those who have a genuine illness apart for p**s takers. As like most large companies it’s about brand image and that you will find that the bigger the company the more they are petrified of the poisonous social media platforms. It takes years to build a brand but it can take a few lines a photo and shares to destroy it. So alot of them create large grey areas where they can blame an employee or supplier and so on If things go belly up that way the brand… Read more »

Ann Kay

My GP offered me an exemption because I have chronic Asthma and bad lung damage which puts me at high risk. I refused it because I would prefer to have some form of protection than none at all. I also suffer from claustrophobia and don’t like having my face or head covered, but I feel that this is a social responsibility that we should all do. The number of people who don’t wear then in shops and on public transport really annoy me, because like many others I think they don’t have any underlying issues and are just taking the… Read more »

Karn Evil 9

Great idea but seeing a GP is nigh on impossible. But I agree 100%

Fed up

Why is it that only twice we have noticed a bus driver tell oncoming passengers to apply face coverings? All too often you see people getting on with their nose over the top or, if they wear it to board off it comes after sitting down. S Vectis, you must ensure face coverings are worn correctly at all times when aboard your vehicles. Come back the bus inspectors!

Karn Evil 9

Covid Marshalls on the buses anyone?


Or covid marshals.

Geoff Hope

IMO most everyone will catch CV, sooner or later, so I would not fuss too much what other people are doing or not doing. As it spreads so very easily, and as many people have already caught colds, despite wearing masks, hand cleaning and social distancing, it stands to reason that to expect to avoid this now, is overly optimistic imo.
Hopefully wrong.

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