DIAMOND Buses say they will only be operating at 35 per cent passenger capacity to ensure safe social distancing as the lockdown eases.
The firm, which runs bus services throughout Redditch says passengers will be required to leave the seat next to them empty unless travelling with their own children.
Guidelines will be displayed on board for passengers to see and the company says it is working with technology companies to find ways to help passengers see how busy services are before they plan to catch the bus.
Diamond has recently adopted a no change policy to reduce the need for cash handling and, with contactless payment and mobile app tickets available across all Diamond services, passengers are being encouraged to pay by cashless methods where possible.
Each bus is fitted with an anti-bacterial disinfectant kit for the driver’s use; this can be used to clean the drivers working area and anywhere on the bus should they deem it necessary while out in service.
Drivers also have access to visors and gloves to wear while on duty.
The company has also introduced more intensive cleaning regimes during evenings and as part of measures to prepare for an increase in passengers, Diamond owners Rotala Plc has invested in thermal fogging equipment for each depot to eradicate Covid-19 virus on their buses.
This equipment passes EN 14476 tests, which means it is effective against coronavirus Covid-19.
The company says it is also introducing 100 per cent daily vehicle sanitisation across its fleet with vehicles will be treated every night so passengers can feel confident the vehicles pose no Covid-19 health risk at point of run out.
Patrick Whittaker from Ionic Systems, a UK manufacturer of cleaning and disinfection equipment said: “We are proud to be associated with Rotala, the first UK public transport company to have invested in thermo-fogging daily disinfection.
“Rotala’s staff are fully trained and certified in disinfection fogging and use only the approved Covid-19 disinfectant that is also fabric friendly and safe to use.”
Diamond are currently running a customer survey to understand what will make passengers feel safe and confident about traveling by bus again. The survey can be completed at https://www.diamondbuses.com/news/covid19-survey/
To seee a video of Thermo-fogging in action click here