More Stagecoach buses back on Northamptonshire's roads .. but fewer seats means passengers may have to wait for the next one

"Plan ahead, avoid busy times if you can, be patient and consider others who may need to travel more urgently than you"

Thursday, 28th May 2020, 10:30 am

Stagecoach will have more buses back on its Northamptonshire routes from Monday (June 1) to help get the county moving again as lockdown restrictions start to ease.

But passengers are warned strict social distancing measures on board will force buses to run with around 75 per cent of seats empty.

Stagecoach admit it may take time to identify problems with passengers having to wait at stops after being unable to board their regular service.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Managing director Mark Whitelocks said: "Once the bus is full, the destination board on the front will display a message saying ‘sorry bus full due to social distancing’. We’ll be adopting a one-on, one-off policy so, once full, buses won’t be able to stop at bus stops during the journey until a passenger gets off.

"We know that this may mean some customers may not be able to get on their usual bus and have to wait for the next service.

"We encourage you to plan ahead, avoid busy times if you can, be patient and consider others who may need to travel more urgently than you. You can give us feedback to let us know how busy your route is.

"We are closely monitoring the numbers of people travelling and where possible we’ll try to add extra buses at busy times. We’re also working closely with local authorities to ensure we can target services where they are needed most."

Northamptonshire's buses will be running more frequently from Monday

The average double-decker will have room for only 25 per cent of the normal number of passengers — 20 passengers instead of around 80!

Details of the new timetables for Northampton, Daventry, Kettering and Corby can be found HERE.

Stagecoach has put extensive measures in place to keep buses clean and safe so passengers can feel confident about using them. although travellers are encouraged to wear face coverings in line with Government advice on using public transport.

Travellers will be asked to sit next to the window leaving seats behind and front empty. Only one person can sit in a double seat, unless they are members of the same household.

Stagecoach have issued a 10-point guide to staying safe on its buses

Mr Whitelocks said: “The safety and well-being of our customers and staff is always our priority and we’re following Government guidance on social distancing on board our services.

"The Stagecoach team are proud to serve our communities in Northamptonshire and we are delighted to be stepping up our services again. It means we can provide significantly more regular services and more capacity overall as people start to return to their everyday lives.

"Our own key workers have made a huge contribution to the national effort and we’d like to thank every one of them and our customers for their support

"Buses are going to continue to play a crucial role in the country’s recovery ahead. As well as helping restart our economy, they are vital in bringing normality back to many areas of our daily lives. With the extensive measures we have taken and the support of our passengers, they can be confident our buses will be clean, safe and ready to go."