As the country comes out of a second lockdown, I’m getting a sense of Déjà Vu from the first lockdown in respect of public transport.
Back in May, I wrote about concerns regarding the spread of Coronavirus on public transport, as people began commuting again to work and education.
That concern was also raised by the RMT Union – especially as one of the groups significantly hit by the virus, was bus drivers.
Back then, the RMT said that public transport would become a “turbo charged Covid -19 breeding ground” driving a new wave of infections.
So with the national restrictions now at an end for a second time, the very same concerns about public transport have resurfaced.
The RMT has written to all police and crime commissioners across England through the Association of Chief Police Officers asking them if they have robust plans to ensure bus passengers are wearing facial coverings on buses.
They have also asked whether the British Transport Police are patrolling trains on occasions to ensure compliance from rail passengers unless they are exempt.
The RMT’s General Secretary Mick Cash said; “Buses are essential for communities, families and the economy and we want to ensure they are always as safe as possible for passengers and staff.
“The union has praised some bus operators (like stagecoach) for increased cleaning regimes on buses and robust signage encouraging social distancing.”
My personal experience from travelling on public transport after the first lockdown was that I didn’t successfully complete a single trip that I can recall, where there wasn’t disobedience by a member of the public.
By that I mean a bus driver asking a boarding passenger to wear a face covering, and instead of politely being told they were exempt, would be told something really rather different – and regularly expletive laden.
Sadly, as the second lockdown ends, one of the biggest risks in society in respect of Coronavirus is boarding public transport.