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Boris to say get back to work, but will we use Suffolk’s trains and buses?

PUBLISHED: 16:30 16 July 2020

Ipswich Buses hope to attract passengers back to their vehicles. Picture: IPSWICH BUSES

Ipswich Buses hope to attract passengers back to their vehicles. Picture: IPSWICH BUSES

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Get back on trains and buses and go to work – that’s the message the Prime Minister is expected to give Britain on Friday as the government tries to get the economy restarted after the coronavirus pandemic.

Ipswich Buses general manager Stephen Bryce. Picture: IPSWICH BUSESIpswich Buses general manager Stephen Bryce. Picture: IPSWICH BUSES

Rail companies, including Greater Anglia, have changed their messages to passengers this week, dropping the “only travel by train if there is no other way of making your journey” to emphasising the steps they are taking to make travel safe.

More: Trains still need government support

They are hoping the change in advice will encourage some people to start using public transport for non-essential journeys like going shopping or going out to a pub or restaurant.

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And Ipswich Buses has announced it is taking new steps to ensure its vehicles are safe for passengers heading around the town – it is increasing the number of services it runs from July 27.

General manager Stephen Bryce said: “As a nation we are clearly starting to relax our lockdown measures and try to return to normality, but passenger numbers are not increasing at the level they need to to reinstate pre-lockdown bus service levels.

“Although passenger numbers are very slow to increase it is estimated that car usage has already reached 80% of its pre- lockdown levels and we need to get people back on public transport as in the longer term increased air pollution from increasing car usage will kill more people in our towns and cities than the coronavirus, so although the pandemic is still a threat we all need to start behaving responsibly and thinking about the future.

“From July 27 we will be starting to increase the frequencies on services 1,2,3,15 & 15A. There is a particular demand to increase our service levels in the south east corner of the borough following one of our competitors withdrawing all of their services on a permanent basis, however we continue to monitor our passenger loadings on a daily basis and we are ready to increase further services as demand increases.”

The company has taken steps including providing staff with sanitisers, face coverings, and cleaning wipes. It has also closed some seats, stepped up cleaning of vehicles, and fitted hand sanitisers for passengers.


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