Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News


27 Mar 2020 by JOHN GELSON


Bus operator urges key workers to check carefully before travel as temporary timetables continue

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Harrogate’s leading bus operator, The Harrogate Bus Company, is urging key workers and others depending on the bus in the current coronavirus pandemic to check timetables carefully before making a journey.

In common with transport providers across the country, the bus firm is carefully revising schedules to take account of reduced demand while ensuring that key workers can get to work, children can travel to schools, and those without cars can reach essential shops and services.

Revised temporary timetables will be introduced on The Harrogate Bus Company’s network from this Sunday, 29 March 2020 – and following their introduction, the operator says it anticipates being able to continue with a similar level of service for up to a month, while continuing to keep all services under review.

The Harrogate Bus Company’s CEO Alex Hornby said: “On a personal note, I remain extremely grateful to our drivers on the front line as well as all those behind the scenes for all their incredible efforts in helping our town and region at this critical time. We have all been humbled by the many messages of support as we do all we possibly can to keep our buses on the road, protect our colleagues and keep our key workers moving.

“I’d like to thank our customers, obviously, too for their understanding while these unique circumstances continue – and to remind everyone that travel is only for those who really need it most. Most of our bus routes are running, just less often than usual, as we focus our resources on providing essential travel.

“We will remain here to take key workers to work, for their children to travel to school, and to help people without cars to reach shops and medical services for essentials.”

The Harrogate Bus Company is advising customers to follow six key points whenever they travel:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before and after you travel
  • Board the bus one at a time
  • Pay by contactless if you can
  • Sit at least two metres apart if there’s room – seats closest to the driver are not available
  • Cough or sneeze only into a tissue, or the inside of your arm
  • If you’re feeling unwell, please don’t travel

The Harrogate Bus Company is reassuring everyone that all its buses are safe to use, with a thorough cleaning regime in place to ensure each bus is cleaned inside and out every night. Extra cleaning is also taking place during the day at bus stations, extending throughout both the customer and driver areas of each bus – and the use of disinfectant, particularly on well-used surfaces, has been increased.

Meanwhile, every bus driver has been provided with a personal hand sanitiser kit, and soap and hot water are available to all drivers where they take their breaks as usual. And on its buses with voice announcements, the company has specially recorded messages to remind everyone of the safest ways to use its services.