Safer Travel Guidance for Customers

3 weeks ago Fri 17th Jul 2020

Nottingham City Transport – Safer Travel Guidance for Customers

Version 4, 17 July 2020   

The Department for Transport (DfT) published Safer Travel Guidance for Passengers on 12 May 2020, which we are following in full. We are committed to revising this guidance as changes are made by DfT, with the latest update effective from 17 July 2020.

You can view the full guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers which applies to all passengers – adults and children.

Download a PDF of this guidance here.

What's Changed?

  • 17 July 2020 - Updated to reflect the Prime Minister's announcement on using public transport
  • 4 July 2020 - Updated to reflect changes to social distancing measures and guidance for people with sight loss
  • 15 June 2020 - Updated to reflect mandatory requirement to wear facial coverings; addition of Capacity Checker and new Journey Assistance cards

Previous Versions

  • You can download Version 1 of this guidance here.
  • You can download Version 2 of this guidance here
  • You can download Version 3 of this guidance here.

Introduction

The Prime Minister has announced on 17th July 2020 that people may use public transport for all journeys immediately. 

NCT buses are clean, safe and good to go and we have achieved Visit Britain’s official industry standard, which confirms that we are following industry and Government guidance on COVID-19, social distancing and cleanliness.

This new standard is a sign of businesses being able to demonstrate that they’re adhering to the COVID-19 guidance issued by the government for their sector, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and that they have the required processes in place. Read more here.

This Safer Travel Guidance is in place to help you travel safely on our buses.

You MUST NOT travel on our buses if you:

  • are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms
  • are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms or sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms
  • are clinically extremely vulnerable
  • have been advised by the NHS test and trace service that you should self isolate

You should maintain a 2 metre distance where possible, because the risk of transmission is small at this distance. If you cannot keep a 2 metre distance, reduce the risk to yourself and others by maintaining a 1 metre distance where possible, and taking suitable precautions.

There are situations where this may not be possible, for example when boarding or alighting, on busier services, at busier times of day, when walking through bus stations and interchanges.

Safer travel guidance summary

Planning Your Journey

Graphic showing do I have to travel?

Before and during your journey, check for the latest travel advice or information:

Checking sources of info

Your journey may take longer than normal due to reduced capacity and social distancing measures and you must allow sufficient time if your journey involves changing buses or on to different forms of transport.

You may have to wait for the next service if you cannot safely keep your distance from other people.

We are closely monitoring usage and there is sufficient capacity for current levels of demand at all times of day, including last buses. In the highly unlikely event that you are unable to board the last bus because it is full, we will cover the reasonable cost of any alternative travel you have to make and look at increasing capacity, if needed.

Use our Capacity Checker to see how quiet or bus your bus may be, which is available on the NCTX Buses app and our website.

You may consider getting on or off the bus at the previous or next stop, if it is quieter. 

What to Take With You

Wearing a facial covering is mandatory on public transport - see below.

The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect our employees and other customers if you are infected and have not yet developed symptoms. This is most relevant for short periods indoors with other people.

Consider making a list of items to take with you and minimise the luggage you take. 

The government advise that you travel with hand sanitiser (as it is not provided at stops, but dispensers are now fitted on all of our buses), essential medicines, tissues and your phone.

Facial Coverings

Image showing face covering

The government has made it mandatory for passengers to wear a facial covering on public transport.

If you do not wear a face covering you will be breaking the law and could be fined £100, or £50 if you pay the fine within 14 days.

 

What is a facial covering?

A facial covering is a covering of any type which covers your nose and mouth. You are responsible for sourcing a facial covering and advice on how to make a facial covering is available here.

Surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment (PPE) should continue to be reserved for people who need to wear them at work.

Face coverings are not a substitute for maintaining social distancing and good hand hygiene.

How do you wear a facial covering?

It is important to use the facial covering properly:

  1. Wash your hands and face with soap before touching the covering and before wearing the covering
  2. Wash the covering before each daily use
  3. Ensure the facial covering covers your nose, mouth and chin and that any elastics are well placed behind your head
  4. Do not touch the facial covering or face once the facial covering is worn
  5. Wash your hands before you remove the covering, remove the covering without touching your face and then wash your hands and face again after it is removed.

Who is exempt from wearing a facial covering?

Passengers are expected to wear a facial covering to help protect others.

It is important to wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your face covering. For longer journeys, take more than one face covering and a plastic bag for used face coverings.

The requirement to wear a face covering also does not apply if you have a reasonable excuse not to. Reasonable excuses include:

  • if you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • if you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • if you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • if you need to eat, drink, or take medication you can remove your face covering
  • if you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official

In addition, the following people are also exempt:

  • children aged under 11
  • police, community support officers or emergency responders in the course of their duty

The wearing of a facial covering remains optional for bus drivers when in their enclosed cab, which provides a physical barrier between customers and drivers. We’ve also covered the ventilation holes in these screens for enhanced protection. Unless covered by the exemption list, all NCT employees who are travelling as a passenger will have to wear a facial covering.

If I am exempt, how do I let the driver know?

When you board, a notice will remind customers that wearing a facial covering is mandatory to travel on public transport.

If you are exempt, please tell the driver you are exempt and you will be allowed to board.

We have joined other operators by producing Journey Assistance Cards for people who are exempt to show drivers upon boarding, which we encourage you to download and print at home. You can download the full Journey Assistance Cards here. 

Boarding the Bus

Image showing waiting 2m at bus stopsWhen waiting at the bus stop, keep 2 metres away from other people, where possible.

Wait for people to get off the bus before you board and only board the bus one at a time.

Please pay for your journey using a pre-paid method such as the NCTX Buses app, an Easyrider smart card or Robin Hood card.

Our exact fare cash payment method means you can still pay with cash. This applies to all NCT routes, including those where drivers normally give change and customers on the 1, 26 and 49 will need to pay with the correct money only.

Have your fare, pass, ticket or app ready when the bus arrives to minimise the time taken to board. Activate your NCTX Buses app ticket when the bus is in sight.

Where to Sit

We have removed some seats from use to assist with social distancing, but it is your responsibility to keep a safe distance from other people, when you can.   

There are situations where this may not be possible, for example on busier services and at busier times of day. Wear a facial coveringIt is for these reasons that the government has mandated that you wear a facial covering.

When you can and space allows, you should sit in the window seat only and away from other people, other than members of your own household. Sitting with people you live with will leave seats free for other customers.

Travel side by side or behind other people, not facing them. Make use of the upper deck, where there is one. 

Image showing where to sit

Guidance for people travelling with a wheelchair or pushchair

Our buses remain available for people travelling with a wheelchair or pushchair and the usual guidelines still apply:

There may be reduced capacity for pushchairs due to social distancing measures.

Our drivers will continue to deploy the ramp when required, but customers should wait at least 2m away from the door, to allow the driver to deploy the ramp and maintain social distance.

When getting off the bus, please press the bell and wait in the bay until the driver has deployed the ramp and then moved away from the bus, to give you social distance.

Guidance for people with sight loss

Our buses remain available for people with sight loss and the usual guidelines still apply, which are available here.

When presenting your concessionary card or paying for your journey, our drivers will not be able to touch your card or cash. Ask them to guide you to the reader or coin slot.

All priority seats remain available, but some seats elsewhere on the bus are not available to allow for social distancing. This includes the sideways facing seats on all buses and the seat immediately behind the entrance doors on double decks used on most routes. If you need assistance finding an available seat, please ask the driver.

When alighting, please press the bell in good time and remain in your seat until the bus has stopped.

On Your Journey

Some routes may be busier than usual due to social distancing measures.

Image showing facial coveringKeep your distance from people outside your household. Public Health England recommends keeping a distance of 2 metres, where possible, or 1 metre by taking suitable precautions. The key thing is to not be too close to other people for more than a short amount of time, as much as you can.

There may be situations where you can’t keep a suitable distance from people, for example:

  • when boarding or alighting
  • on busier services
  • at busier times of day
  • when walking through bus stations and interchanges.

In these cases you should avoid physical contact, try to face away from other people, and keep the time you spend near others as short as possible. You must wear a face covering on public transport.

Seats removed social distancingWe have removed some seats from use to assist with social distancing, but it is your responsibility to keep a safe distance from other people, when you can.   

Be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.

Help keep yourself, our employees and other customers safe by:

  • respecting other people’s space while travelling
  • avoiding consuming food and drink on board
  • being aware of pregnant, older and disabled people who may require a seat or extra space
  • being aware that some individuals may have hidden disabilities
  • opening windows to allow a fresh air supply is consistently flowing through the bus
  • avoiding loud talking, shouting or singing
  • disposing of waste safely, including items such as used disposable face coverings

If any problems arise or you feel ill during your journey, speak to a member of transport staff. In the case of an emergency, contact the emergency services as you normally would.

If you need help, maintain a short distance from members of staff, where possible. If this isn’t possible, you should try to avoid physical contact and keep the time you spend near staff as short as possible.

Treat our Staff with Respect

Image showing treat staff with respectAll of our employees are key workers, ensuring that people who have to make journeys by public transport can do so, but they are not responsible for the enforcement of social distancing.

We are doing everything we can to protect them and you by providing them with face coverings, gloves, sanitiser, disinfectant wipes and reminding them to follow the guidelines on washing their hands and keep their distance, when they can.

Our drivers have worked behind screens for several years, which provides a physical barrier and we’ve also covered the ventilation holes in these screens for enhanced protection.

Please treat all of our employees with respect and follow the instructions they may give you and follow signage on the bus, which is in place for the safety of everyone.

Getting off the Bus

Image showing wait behind circleWhen getting off the bus, press the bell in good time and remain in your seat until the bus stops.

On the floor of our buses, there is a red circle where you should wait until the doors are opened. Once the doors are open, leave the bus as quickly as you can.

When getting off the bus, customers who travel in a wheelchair should press the bell and wait in the bay until the driver has deployed the ramp and then moved away from the bus, to give you social distance.

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible, including for children.

What are NCT Doing?

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, we have always followed government advice for the transport sector at all times, for both our customers and employees, and we will continue to respond to changes in guidance.

NCT has achieved Visit Britain’s official industry standard, which confirms that we are following industry and Government guidance on COVID-19, social distancing and cleanliness.

This new standard is a sign of businesses being able to demonstrate that they’re adhering to the COVID-19 guidance issued by the government for their sector, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and that they have the required processes in place.

NCT is Good to Go

We’re taking our responsibility seriously and NCT is operating a full timetable, providing maximum capacity for people to distance. We will also continue to:

  • review and implement government advice and guidance
  • communicate regularly with our customers
  • provide our Capacity Checker on the NCT website and NCTX Buses app, where customers can see how quiet or busy their bus is
  • display the Safer Travel Guidance on buses, at stops and online, with printed signage on buses and regularly changing audio announcements, reminding customers about the requirements
  • rigorously clean our buses, paying additional attention to the parts of buses that are most commonly touched, such as doors, poles, bells, card readers.
  • provide our employees with access to cleaning wipes, gloves, facial coverings and hand sanitiser
  • close off some seats on buses to support social distancing
  • reinforce messages to our employees about the expectations and requirements on them on the bus and when at work
  • monitor usage and loadings per journey and look at ways we can provide additional capacity, where resources allow
  • enforce that where any employees who show any symptoms or are living with someone who has symptoms that they self-isolate and do not return to work until they provide a negative test result
  • regularly communicate with our employees and recognised trade union, Unite

Further information:

Contact us by emailing [email protected] or calling 0115 950 60 70