Wigan students reminded to wear face coverings on public transport

Police and transport operators are urging young people across Greater Manchester to ensure they comply with the Covid-19 measure.

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 10:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 10:26 am

In total 10 days of action, including one in Wigan, have been held to engage with on younger travellers going to and from schools, colleges and universities.

Pupils and students have been reminded of the latest advice to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Public transport users are being asked to wear a face covering unless they are exempt, keep a safe distance of one metre plus apart, wash or sanitise their hands frequently and use contactless payment.

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Police officers during one of the days of action

During the days of action officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and staff from the TravelSafe Partnership (TSP) spoke to young people aged 11 to 19 and where necessary handed out face coverings.

The deployments were arranged in response to concerns raised with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) that some people were not following the guidelines when travelling.

TfGM customer director, Stephen Rhodes, said: “It is absolutely essential that those people who must use public transport, and have no alternative, can do so in confidence and in as safe an environment as possible.

“Unfortunately, we have received a number of reports of young people flaunting the guidelines on some services, and as such we have acted swiftly to educate those disregarding the safety of themselves and others.

“These targeted days of action give us an excellent opportunity to interact with students, young people and other passengers in an open-air environment while they are out on the network and explain exactly how important their actions are in terms of keeping themselves and others safe.

“We will continue to hold these days of action and ensure that young people accessing education across the region remain aware of their responsibilities when travelling.”

Chief Inspector Gareth Firth from GMP’s Transport Unit, said: “We hope that the recent days of action have highlighted how important it is for us all to be responsible and play our part in helping prevent the spread of the virus, and help keep public transport safe.

"In addition to the ongoing work we are doing across our transport networks, the amplified focus during the days of action have allowed the team to engage with passengers, and explain the importance of wearing a face covering to protect those around us. This has proven even more important given the current rating of Greater Manchester, and the latest announcements which will continue to be monitored.

"We would like to thank the vast majority of passengers that are playing their part and following the latest guidelines.

"Over the coming weeks, officers will continue to work alongside TfGM engaging with passengers and encouraging them to comply with the latest regulations, and ensure everyone is aware of the risks."

There are several exemptions to wearing face coverings, including children under the age of 11, anyone with a disability or condition which means they are unable to wear one, transport staff and emergency services.

Face coverings can be a scarf or bandana, or can be something made at home.

Department for Transport guidance states that public transport drivers are exempt from wearing face coverings as it can affect their ability to drive. They are enclosed in their cabs or behind screens in most cases and are following all other hygiene precautions laid down by their employers for controlling coronavirus.