Bus pass arrangements go back to normal in Northamptonshire from Monday

Free travel period starts at 9.30am as county prepares for shops land businesses to slowly reopen

By Kevin Nicholls
Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 10:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 10:46 am

Morning peak-hour restrictions on bus passes in Northamptonshire will be back to normal from Monday (June 15).

Concessionary passes allow the older and disabled people to travel for free after 9.30am on weekdays, and all day at weekends and bank holidays.

Northamptonshire County Council extended the current scheme to 24 hours a day to allow the most vulnerable to make use of dedicated time set aside by supermarkets during the Covid-19 crisis.

Free travel will only be available for Northamptonshire's bus pass holders after 9.30am from Monday

Restrictions are now being eased but social distancing measures still in place mean capacity on bus services is considerably reduced. So morning peak-hour travel is now being prioritised for those who may work in shops or factories, or for education.

County Council Cabinet Member for Place, Highways and the Environment, Cllr Jason Smithers said: “Supermarkets are more accessible now than at the beginning of the crisis and the easing of lockdown restrictions means more people will be using public transport for work and school.

“Social distancing measures are in place on buses and as some services may be reduced, we want to ensure there is enough room on routes for workers and pupils, while ensuring concessionary pass holders can still enjoy free travel.”

Northamptonshire's biggest bus operator Stagecoach issued a series of guidelines for travelling on its services in the county after revealing around 75 per cent of seats will be kept empty to make sure passengers are kept well apart.

Travellers will be asked to sit next to the window leaving seats behind and front empty. Only one person can sit in a double seat, unless they are members of the same household.

And, also from Monday, face coverings will be compulsory on all public transport.

Non-essential shops are also able to reopen from Monday after the Government identified falls in the rate of infection.