Watchdog calls for better information to help passengers social distance

Transport Focus is calling for all transport operators to give passengers the information they need to help them social distance.

As people begin to return to travel the watchdog investigated information provided by rail and bus operators to help passengers avoid busier services. The organisation said that it has found that many but not all operators now give information about space on board their services.

Recent Transport Focus data shows nine in 10 people would find it useful to have information on how busy services are as soon as restrictions begin to be eased. Even when Covid-19 is less of a risk more than eight in 10 say they would find this information useful.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “As restrictions ease and more people return to public transport in the coming weeks, it will get harder for passengers to maintain social distancing at busier times.

“Reliable information can help passengers plan, avoid busier services and make social distancing easier. It’s vital that more transport operators share this information and keep it up to date so people can make informed decisions.”

Transport Focus said, operators should make crowding information available in website journey planners, apps and other places like National Rail Enquiries and Traveline. It also said operators should continue to improve information by offering greater personalisation, including proactive alerts to passengers if their services are disrupted or likely to be busier than normal.

The report also provides a number of examples of industry innovation and best practice which should be replicated across the country.


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