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Mask reminder for local bus passengers

The Keighley Bus Company - which operates buses across the Aire and Wharfe Valleys - has issued a plea to customers to remind them to wear face coverings while on board.

With services running at around 80% of the usual timetables to ensure that key workers and people with no other means of transport can get about, the operator says the 'overwhelming majority' of passengers are following the rules while on its buses.

As the current restrictions look set to continue for at least the next few weeks, The Keighley Bus Company is reminding everyone that travel is for essential reasons only – and that unless exempt in line with Government guidance, properly wearing a face covering is the best way to keep bus drivers and other customers safe.

CEO Alex Hornby said: “We are very grateful to the overwhelming majority of our customers who continue to follow the Government guidance on travel to the letter – and at the same time, we need to ask for everyone’s help to keep all our drivers and customers safe on every journey.

“When using our buses, and when inside enclosed bus stations you should wear a mask or visor unless you have a medical exemption, in line with Government guidance. Please make sure your face covering is worn for your entire journey, and that it covers your nose and mouth to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

“Our drivers are able to challenge customers who aren’t wearing a face covering without a valid exemption and can instruct them to leave the bus. If necessary, we will also support the police in using enforcement powers, which can include fines of £200 for a first offence – but we’d much rather encourage everyone to do the right thing.

“By following the guidance on every trip, we can all help to keep all our drivers and customers safe. Right now, our buses are among the safest places you can be when travelling, with extensive cleaning throughout the day and night, and plenty of room on board as we provide over 8 out of 10 journeys through the current lockdown.

“I know our customers will understand why we’re asking everyone to help us make sure every journey is safe and comfortable by following the guidance. Our thanks go to all who continue to support us in this way.”

A range of stylish and effective face coverings in unique designs is available to buy from the travel shop at Keighley Bus Station, or online through Boutique – the bus operator’s pop-up online shop – at shop.transdevbus.co.uk. Proceeds from the sale of face coverings are being donated to NHS Charities Together, which supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for Covid-19 patients nationwide.

The Keighley Bus Company also says bus windows should be kept open to aid ventilation - so it advises passengers to wear warm clothing while travelling. It's also encouraging customers to use contactless cards, Google Pay or Apple Pay to buy a ticket from the driver where possible instead of cash. Tickets can also be bought in advance using the Transdev Go app, which also shows how much space is available on each bus service before it arrives at your stop.

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