28 Oct 2021
How we’re continuing to respond to covid-19
The safety of customers and staff remains our highest priority during this phase of the pandemic. We’re very grateful for the support of the vast majority of passengers who have followed the restrictions while they have been in place since March 2020, including wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing and avoiding busy services where possible.
We will be continuing to ask all passengers to be responsible travellers when using public transport in Wales and the borders, and our Travel Safer message remains in place. We’re also continuing to recommend staying local where possible, and to walk, wheel or cycle for shorter journeys.
In line with the latest Welsh Government guidance, social distancing requirements are in the process of being reviewed and removed. We’ll continue to see busy services on weekends and outside the traditional peak times, so it will remain very important for customers to plan ahead and use our Capacity Checker to find quieter services.
We’re asking all customers to continue travelling responsibly by wearing a face covering for the whole of your journey unless exempt, not to travel if you feel unwell, and to buy tickets via contactless methods where possible. We’re also continuing to recommend staying local where possible, and to walk, wheel or cycle for shorter journeys.
We appreciate that everyone has been affected by the pandemic in different ways. Our colleagues and our partners, the British Transport Police, will continue to be on hand to support passengers in making them feel safe during their journey. If you’re concerned about being in a closed space with lots of other people, please consider destinations that may not be as popular or avoid travelling during busier periods if you can. When you’ve decided on your destination, please make sure you plan your journeys in advance and pre-book your tickets if you can.
Wearing a face covering on public transport remains law in Wales, so you could be fined or refused travel if you’re not wearing a face covering, unless you’re exempt. It also remains a requirement to wear a face covering on Transport for Wales services that cross into England.
However, we’re asking everyone to be respectful of one and other, and be mindful that not everyone can wear a face coverings, while others may choose to do so in stations and other facilities where it has become optional.
We’re still running fewer rail services at the moment, although this has increased over recent months. All our trains are in use to provide as much capacity as possible, and we have introduced extra trains over the course of the last few months to increase our overall capacity. However, we also need a little longer than usual to carry out our enhanced cleaning regimes, and our staff numbers continue to remain lower than normal due to covid-related absences, which means we have fewer people available to run our services. This means we cannot restore our full timetable just yet.
We’re continuing to adapt our timetables to best support those who rely on public transport to get to and from work. However, at the moment, there isn’t a definite date for the restoration of our full pre-covid timetable.
Public transport vehicles and trains are continuing to be thoroughly cleaned in line with the Welsh Government’s guidelines. Our Cleaning teams are regularly and thoroughly cleaning heavily used areas such as tables, handles, ticket machines and anywhere passengers may regularly touch, this includes station areas.
There’s recently been research published to highlight the safety of travelling by rail. You can read a recent BBC report here.
We’ve a zero-tolerance policy on anti-social behaviour, and we ask that all passengers always respect fellow commuters and public transport staff.
We’re continuing to work very closely with the British Transport Police (BTP), who are there to offer support in tackling any criminal incidents on the rail network. They also help with informing passengers of the importance of following the guidance and requirements that are in place.
You can report an incident on the rail network either safely alerting a member of staff or by calling the BTP on 0800 40 50 60 or by texting 61016.
If you experience problems when travelling by bus, please safely alert your driver, who will follow the protocols in place and radio for assistance where necessary.
During the pandemic, we launched a pilot service called fflecsi in partnership with local bus operators and local authorities. This is designed to help people make essential local journeys by allowing them to book a place on a bus service.
fflecsi has been designed to transport passengers as safely as possible. Knowing how many passengers we’re picking up means we can send the right size vehicle and maintain physical distancing, and the bus changes its route so that all passengers can get to where they need to go.
The service is currently being piloted in a number of parts of Wales, including Blaenau Gwent, north Cardiff, Conwy, Denbigh, Newport, the Rhondda, Pembrokeshire and Prestatyn.
The service runs throughout the week and allows you to choose when you want to travel. Some fflecsi services could continue to run alongside your normal scheduled bus services in the future.
To find out more download the App or call 0300 234 0300.