Action taken to support the public transport network during next phase of COVID-19 pandemic response

Measures taken to support the public transport network as more people start to travel were discussed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee today.

Measures taken to support the public transport network as more people start to travel were discussed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee today.

Committee members were told about planned changes to bus stations and interchanges, including removing some seating to help accommodate passengers while maintaining social distancing, cleaning of contact points and additional signage asking people to “Stay Apart. Stay Safe. Save Lives”.

People are being asked to consider whether their journey is necessary and consider the time of day they travel. Those who do need to travel are being asked to pay by contactless and wear a face covering where possible, wash their hands before and after their journey and maintain social-distancing.

Work is underway to help people cycle and walk more, building on the existing significant investment through the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme and measures already taken by partner councils to make additional road space available for cyclists and pedestrians.

The restriction on concessionary travel before 9.30am is due to be restored on 1 June to ensure the maximum possible capacity is available for key workers and others who need to travel for work.

Committee members thanked key workers, including bus station and other transport staff, for their vital work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee also discussed the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transport network.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“We are working with our partner councils, operators and others to make sure the transport network is as safe and resilient as possible and we are asking people to help us by considering how and when they travel to ensure capacity is there for those who need it.

“There is no hiding the fact that as the number of people travelling increases in the coming days that will pose significant challenges to the transport network. We know that for people in many of our communities public transport is the only way they can get to and from work.

"I will be writing to the Transport Secretary seeking urgent clarity on how transport authorities will be funded on a sustainable basis to support services and ensure that transport planning and provision is properly co-ordinated and addresses local circumstances.”