Relaxing two-metre rule would only boost bus capacity by one passenger

Support us and go ad-free

Changing the two-metre social distancing rule to one metre would only boost bus capacity by one passenger per vehicle, a metro mayor has warned.

West of England mayor Tim Bowles said major reform of bus funding is required as operators are unable to meet demand on some routes.

He told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee: “First Bus have done work and trials on that.

“They did modelling on two-metre distancing, one-and-a-half-metre and one metre.

“If you think about how tight buses are, even if you reduce that to one metre they’ve worked out you will get one additional passenger on a bus.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

“If you’re around about 25% capacity on the bus, it means a double decker can really only accommodate around 20 or just over 20 people.

“We would only see one more on one of those routes, if they’re following the rules.”

Bowles told the committee that demand for bus services has increased in recent days.

On 8 June it was up to 15% of normal levels, rising to 19% on Tuesday.

The mayor said: “We have got a very good relationship with our bus operators.

“They are running duplicate buses on many routes, but on those key routes they are still finding that we are at capacity already in spite of these limited returns, due to social distancing.”

Bowles called for government grants for bus services to be “properly devolved” to transport bodies in England’s combined authority areas.

“We are the people who know what routes need supporting and we can act at pace, and we can be flexible, as opposed to directly paying operators to continue delivering in the old manner and in the old normal,” he said.

“We’ve got to start using this as an opportunity to change the way we work.”

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Pandemic or no pandemic public transport should always have had a regime within law requiring regular hygiene attention in cleaning and disinfecting after a day of public usage. Before Covid-19 public transport, busses, coaches, trains taxis, much of it privately run, were and remain filthy facilities to paying passengers.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.