Bus Services: Coronavirus

Department for Transport written question – answered on 8th June 2020.

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Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his Department has issued to (a) public transport operators and (b) private bus companies on providing support to passengers with (i) sight loss, (ii) sight impairment and (iii) other disabilities to enable social distancing during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Whilst the Government is encouraging people to avoid public transport whenever possible, we understand that many disabled people continue to rely on transport services and maintaining their accessibility is therefore important.

On the 12th May the Department published guidance to help transport operators provide safe environments for their passengers and staff across all forms of public and private transport, including measures to assess and address the risks posed by COVID-19 in the transport sector.

Buses continue to play an important role in enabling disabled people to make essential journeys and we have reminded operators that laws supporting their access remain in force. Operators should ensure that staff are trained and equipped to provide passengers with assistance safely and should consider the impact on disabled passengers of any measures to support social distancing.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) issued its own advice to the station staff of Train Operating Companies. This included specific advice on how staff could continue to provide assistance to disabled passengers whilst maintaining safe social distancing and good hygiene regimes, including advice on assisting visually impaired customers.

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