Public transport has been massively impacted by the pandemic and bus companies have had to adapt and change the way they work to fit in with government guidelines. Public transport for many is the only form of travel available to them and throughout lockdown it was regularly used but in the safest way possible. Buses are being sanitised and cleaned regularly and social distancing rules are in place. Phil mentioned that if you were to ask the people who continued to use public transport, they would’ve said it was a comfortable experience. Additionally, the government is funding bus operators to maintain their services at a higher level than would otherwise be commercially viable…for bus customers to be aware of this is important as it will reassure them and make them aware that measures are being taken to ensure they can travel in the safest environment possible.
Our guests spoke about the importance of buses and if we are to move back to some form of normality, public transport is essential. Without it, our communities would suffer greatly, so it’s really important that people are aware of the steps being taken to clean buses. Phil spoke about how “people have said we clean our buses more than people clean their own houses and cars.” He stressed the importance of public transport and said that if we want city centres to be successful then its essential to have buses running on a normal timetable again.
Dave Harrison of Oxfordshire County Council addresses the issues of congestion post-pandemic and Hayley Beer-Gamage discusses the impact of the pandemic on tourism and the need to instil confidence in the local community and, eventually, tourists, to want to visit Oxfordshire again.