Plan due on Scotland’s public transport post-lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon is preparing to reveal plans for reinstating limited use of public transport.

The first minister will publish the Transport Transition Plan which is due to be launched at Tuesday’s daily coronavirus briefing.

The move comes ahead of the expected implementation of phase one of the Scottish government’s route map out of lockdown later this week.

The main focus will be an acceleration of the test, trace, isolate strategy.

The Scottish government has promised 2,000 contact tracers will be available by the end of the month, but does not believe all of them will be needed immediately. 

Currently, Scotland’s strict lockdown rules remain in place.

Emphasis on social distancing

But on Thursday, the Scottish government will fulfil its legal requirement to review its coronavirus measures.

Ms Sturgeon said: “On Thursday, there will be a clear decision on whether or not we are lifting some restrictions and entering phase one of our path out of lockdown.”

She said that any changes announced would start on Friday.

She has outlined previously that any relaxation will focus mainly on outdoor activities.

Queuing for train

As the contact tracing service is established, then workplaces and schools will also begin the slow process of reopening.

Ms Sturgeon will explain how public transport will change to operate safely in line with this gradual return.

It has been suggested buses, trains and trams will be limited to 10% to 25% capacity – with social distancing, face coverings and an emphasis on travelling off peak. 

Travel operators, unions and employers will be involved in making decisions on restrictions.

‘Free masks’

It is also expected people will still be advised to stay at home – or use active travel like cycling and walking. 

Opposition parties have warned that Scotland must avoid scenes of overcrowding on public transport as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Scottish Labour’s transport spokesman Colin Smyth said: “Passenger numbers are already beginning to rise, and that will accelerate as the lockdown is eased from this week.” 

“We cannot have a repeat of the scenes we saw in England with overcrowding, as people went back to work.”

He is calling for a “definitive position on face coverings” and suggests masks should be made available free to passengers.

BBC News