First are going the extra mile to keep bus passengers healthy

FIRST Potteries are going the extra mile to protect passengers from Covid-19 (coronavirus) on their buses.

North Staffordshire's major bus operator hasn't let up introducing health safety measures to its expansive fleet of vehicles.

The company began by reducing seating capacity by 75 per cent on its buses and no longer allowing standing.

Now the interior of all buses is being sprayed with a new 'viricidal' sanitiser to keep passengers and staff safe from catching the virus.

The chemical called 'Zoono Z71' is said to provide long-lasting protection and is an environmentally-friendly product.

It is effective for 28 days after being sprayed on bell pushes, grab rails and seats on vehicles.

A new app has also been introduced to enable passengers to check the 'live' location of their buses and if seats are available as a result of capacity being severely reduced.

First Potteries managing director Nigel Eggleton said: "We are determined to do all we can to protect our customers and colleagues at this challenging time.

"Our buses are essential for key workers and those who need to make essential journeys, and we want everyone to feel confident that it is safe to use our buses."

From this week Government is instructing people using public transport to wear face covering in a further attempt to avoid spread of the disease.

First Potteries operation manager Dan Flannagan said: "Drivers are being issued with gloves, masks, hand sanitiser and wipes, and we've four volunteer driving staff that have stepped up to do cleaning of the buses"

Buses are displaying 'sorry, bus full,' when they reach capacity to warn passengers they can accept no more on board.

With non-retail shops re-opening on Monday, and more people returning to work, there is expected to be a considerable increase in passenger numbers next week.


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