Train and bus services to be ramped up ‘as quickly as possible’

Public transport services will be increased “as quickly as possible” as part of England’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Government document.

The “recovery strategy” published on Monday sets out measures to cope with growing demand for travel “as more people return to work”.

It says: “This is why the Government is working with public transport providers to bring services back towards pre-Covid-19 levels as quickly as possible.”

Public transport services have been decimated by a collapse in demand and staff shortages.

Passengers are still being urged not to use trains and buses.

The strategy states: “When travelling everybody (including critical workers) should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible.

“If they can, people should instead choose to cycle, walk or drive, to minimise the number of people with whom they come into close contact.”

The document goes on to state that social distancing guidance on public transport “must be followed rigorously”.

Transport operators “should follow appropriate guidance” which will be published this week to ensure their services are “Covid-19 secure”.

A separate section of the briefing states that the Government is now “advising” that people should wear face coverings on public transport.

It reads: “The Government is now advising that people should aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops.”

The document states that these changes to policy will apply from Wednesday in England, but the guidance should be considered alongside specific requirements for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.