A new survey of bus passengers suggests the wearing of masks is a contentious issue when it comes to choosing to travel.
Bus Users UK found that 70% of respondents were concerned about other passengers not wearing face coverings, but on the other hand 63% of people with a medical exemption say they do not feel comfortable travelling without a face covering.
In fact, two out of five people wear a face covering despite having a medical exemption, apparently because they feel pressured to do so.
Bus Users has called on government, local authorities and operators to do more to ensure that people feel safe and confident about travelling by bus and particularly by coach. They also suggest that more needs to be done to improve awareness of medical exemptions to face coverings so people unable to wear a mask can travel without being made to feel uncomfortable, challenged or even abused by others.
Their survey found 32% of people are not currently using the bus compared to just 1% of respondents before lockdown.
The survey did not ask if anyone who is not exempt does not use the bus because of the face covering rule.
Dawn Badminton-Capps, Bus Users Director for England said: “Bus and coach operators have been working tirelessly to keep their passengers and staff moving safely throughout this crisis. It is critical, however, that these lifeline services are there for communities beyond the pandemic, and that will only be possible with the support of government, and by ensuring that everyone can feel safe and confident about travelling.”