COVID-19: ROUTE MAP FOR WESTERN ISLES PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, are planning public bus services for the next phase of easing out of lockdown,
The current phase allows bus operators, to control passenger numbers and keep physical distancing to acceptable levels. The current status allows for a small amount of easing of travel restrictions.
As there has been a small increase in the number of businesses returning to work, requests for access to work transport has been extended, where practicable to non-key workers. Initially, this is on the same basis as the bookable service provided for key workers and bus services still have limited coverage.
Phase 2 recommends that Public Transport services should move to operating increased services, but with capacity significantly limited to allow for physical distancing.
It is therefore considered, that the next step when moving to Phase 2, will be to allow increased access to public bus services, while maintaining control of passenger numbers. This would be achieved by extending the scope of the current booking system but also moving closer to a regular timetabled service.
As there will be more passengers travelling on these services, passengers will be asked to wear face coverings when using public transport due to the increased risk of close contact when travelling on a bus. Passengers will be expected to provide their own face coverings.
Operators will be asked to display prominent signage on buses making it clear that physical distancing should be maintained and that face coverings should be worn.
Although face coverings are yet not required by law, it is being promoted as a precautionary measure for the health and safety of passengers and staff.