Search

Suffolk bus companies operating as normal at present despite coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:15 18 March 2020

Eastern Counties buses are operating as normal at present . Picture: PAUL GEATER

Eastern Counties buses are operating as normal at present . Picture: PAUL GEATER

Archant

The two largest bus companies operating in Suffolk are continuing to operate as normal – but have taken extra measures in a bid to keep passengers and staff safe.

First Eastern Counties and Ipswich Buses are continuing to operate as normal – although both companies are aware that the situation could change.

Steve Bryce, the general manager of Ipswich Buses, said: “At present our services are operating normally although the number of passengers is considerably down as you would expect.

“We are doing a great deal to ensure our vehicles are safe. As well as the normal clean we do every night, the buses are also being cleaned all over with anti-bacterial cleaner – especially those metal surfaces that people touch when they’re getting on and off.

See Suffolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook group here

He said the company had its normal number of people off sick at present and buses were operating to the normal timetable – although that could change if many staff went off sick over the next few weeks.

“We shall do everything we can to maintain our normal services. If we do have to withdraw services because of a lack of staff then we shall tell people through the media.”

Follow the latest coronavirus updates here

First Group has published a national statement about its services during the coronavirus crisis – and a local spokesman said services in Suffolk and Norfolk were still operating as normal at present.

The company statement says: To help keep you safe we’re taking the following action: “Stepping up our cleaning regimes including regular disinfection of all grab rails and poles, entrance door handles, window ledges and other touchpoints

“Encouraging good hand hygiene amongst all our staff.

“Displaying NHS advice on our buses wherever it is practical to do so.”

Both companies receive payments from Suffolk County Council to cover the cost of free bus passes for older passengers.

That money will still be paid – but the number of people using age-related free bus passes has fallen very substantially because of the government policy to encourage those aged over 70 to stay at home and not mix with other people in a bid to save them from the dangers of contracting coronavirus.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star