Scotland’s post-lockdown public transport plan to be revealed

The Scottish Government will publish details about how public transport can operate safely while coronavirus is still in circulation.

Scotland’s post-lockdown public transport plan to be revealed Getty Images

The Scottish Government will publish details about how public transport can operate safely while coronavirus is still in circulation.

The First Minister told the daily briefing on Monday she expects changes in current lockdown to come into force from Friday.

A “transport transition” plan is due to be published on Tuesday following a statement by transport secretary Michael Matheson.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “The plan will be dynamic and regularly updated and will be aligned to the route map to transition out of lockdown set out by the First Minister last week.

“We have been engaging with a wide range of stakeholders in its development, including operators, Cosla, unions, regional transport partnerships and other stakeholders.

“We know that capacity on our public transport system will remain limited as a result of the need to maintain physical distancing and guidance for public transport users and operators is a key element of the plan to keep public transport safe.”

It has been suggested buses, trains and trams will be limited to 10% to 25% capacity – with social distancing, face coverings and an emphasis on travelling off peak. 

Travel operators, unions and employers will be involved in making decisions on the new restrictions.

‘We cannot have a repeat of the scenes we saw in England with overcrowding, as people went back to work.’

Scottish Labour’s transport spokesman Colin Smyth

Opposition parties have warned that Scotland must avoid scenes of overcrowding on public transport as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Scottish Labour’s transport spokesman Colin Smyth said: “Passenger numbers are already beginning to rise, and that will accelerate as the lockdown is eased from this week.

“We cannot have a repeat of the scenes we saw in England with overcrowding, as people went back to work.

“It’s clear the Government has no intention of implementing physical changes on our buses and trains such as removing seats, so they need to spell out how they will actually achieve social distancing in a way that is enforceable and safe for passengers and workers.”

He continued: “That has to include assurances that the resources will be provided for physical safety measures such as screens.

“The Government also needs a more definitive position on face coverings. If passengers are being told they must wear them to travel, then they should be available free at stations and stops.

“If the Government has no intention of providing PPE in a comprehensive way for transport workers, then we need to know how they will be protected.

“There are serious questions about how the Government is going to keep passengers and staff safe, and Scottish Labour will continue to demand answers.”

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