What we have done to help fight virus?

1 year ago Thu 9th Apr 2020

We would like to thank all our wonderful employees and customers for supporting us since the Coronavirus situation started and subsequently escalated. We want to reassure everyone about the measures we have put in place to ensure that both our employees and customers can stay safe and healthy.

Since the start of this global event, as well as emphasising the Government's advice to wash their hands regularly and use a tissue to cough into, Thames Valley Buses has placed many additional measures in place to protect our passengers and our staff:

By 24 February, when there were only 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK, all our staff had alcohol-based hand gel, and cleaning regimes were enhanced with higher grade products, with special attention given to handrails, seat backs, poles and drivers cab areas. Many of our buses are cleaned in the middle of the day, as well as at the end of the day. The interior cleaning has been prioritised above the external washing, which is why sometimes our buses have not looked as clean on the outside as we might normally expect.

Drivers have been issued with alcohol wipes to attend to parts of the bus that are regularly touched, such as ticket machines and cab controls and gloves for handling cash, particularly important when drivers change over.  More recently, as official advice has been less clear, staff have been given masks to wear if they wish and drivers have stopped handling cash altogether as we have encouraged contactless payments or app-based tickets and introduced a no-change policy

Most of our buses are not fitted with assault screens, but by this weekend we will have fitted temporary PVC screens to all buses without, to provide that additional barrier to help keep our staff safe.  Passengers have been asked to board one at a time, with seats closest to the driver being cordoned off, and then encouraged to seat themselves at least 2m apart.  We are monitoring all journeys and vehicle sizes to make sure we have sufficient space for people to exercise this social distancing

Once the Government announced the Job Retention Scheme, we acted immediately to stand down our most vulnerable employees, and we have furloughed many more staff who are themselves living with more vulnerable people.  

We continue to encourage customers to only travel on our buses if they are fit and well, and thank you all for your patience and understanding as these measures have been introduced for the safety of yourselves and our staff.

The tragic news that some bus drivers have lost their lives to the Covid-19 virus has shocked us all in the industry and serves as a timely reminder that our bus drivers are working at the forefront of the fight to battle this virus and facing greater risks to their own health to make sure that other key workers can reach their place of work. We are constantly in awe of our wonderful employees and we know that you will all join us in showing your appreciation.