First West Yorkshire restores timetables to pre-lockdown frequency
First West Yorkshire has announced it is to restore its timetables to pre-lockdown frequency from this weekend (Sunday 7 March).
The decision has been made in consultation with transport officials in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and follows guidance for operators and local authorities to consider returning bus services as lockdown measures begin to ease.
Martin Hirst, Commercial Director of First West Yorkshire, said: “The services we’re reintroducing will help to manage a gradual change in passenger demand as lockdown restrictions are removed and have been agreed with the local transport authority. We will do all we can in the coming weeks to respond to travel behaviour and ensure there are services to meet our customers’ needs as daily life resumes.”
The timetables come into effect with the re-opening of schools next Monday 8 March.
First West Yorkshire is introducing a range of measures to support pupils, parents and teachers and ensure a smooth return to the classroom.
In Halifax and Huddersfield duplicate bus journeys have been added on key routes serving local schools to ensure there is capacity to enable pupils to travel safely.
Martin Hirst said: “Parents have done an amazing job in supporting their children through home learning since the start of the year. We’re ready now to play our part as education goes back to the classroom. Pupils and parents relying on the bus can be confident journeys to and from school will be simple and straightforward.”
He added: “This has been completed in partnership with the transport and education teams in the local authority, as well as schools and we look forward to welcoming pupils back on to our buses.”
First is encouraging customers to use contactless payment, if possible, including the mTickets available on its app, which can be bought by parents and ‘gifted’ to their children. The app also features a live bus map feature to check available seats on buses approaching a stop.
Buses undergo daily enhanced cleaning of all touchpoints and surfaces and at selected interchanges and stopovers between service changes.
Martin Hirst added: “It’s the law to wear a face covering on the bus, unless under 11 or exempt, just as in shops and other indoor places. This must cover the nose and mouth throughout the journey and we encourage everyone to follow the public health guidance to wash hands or use a sanitiser before and after travel.”