Light rail and trams

21.05.20

TfGM launches campaign to encourage social distancing

As residents across Greater Manchester begin to emerge from the early stages of lockdown and need to travel more frequently, the region’s transport body, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), has launched a campaign encouraging passengers to stay safe and take only necessary journeys.

Promoting a message to walk, cycle or drive when possible as a first choice of travelling, for situations where public transport cannot be avoided there are several steps TfGM are promoting as best practice to keep passengers safe.

These simple measures include:

  • Wear a face covering
  • Keep a two-metre distance where possible on the platform, stop, station and on board
  • Wash or sanitise your hands regularly and carry you own hand sanitiser
  • Use contactless payment methods or smart ticketing where possible and use exact change if cash is needed

The messages form part of a new wider campaign launched this week to remind passengers of the collective responsibility to follow government’s travel guidance during the coronavirus outbreak. Last week, new guidance was published by the government reiterating social distancing and hygiene advice that was already released as well as adding new guidance around the wearing of cloth face coverings in crowded places such as public transport.

Currently, just 12% of passengers were observed wearing face coverings on Metrolink during a period on Monday morning, compared with an average of 10.3% the previous week and 6.9% the week prior to that.

The campaign will include posters at stops, interchanges and on-board vehicles to offer the latest safety advice to passengers, as well as digital advertising, social media and announcement on trams and on platforms and in bus stations and interchanges.

20-0337 Covid-19 guidance for Twitter1

The campaign will include posters at stops, interchanges and on-board vehicles to offer the latest safety advice to passengers
 

TfGM’s Customer Director, Stephen Rhodes, said: “The message around public transport is clear - people should avoid using it wherever possible and look to cycle, walk or even drive for their essential journeys if they can.

“But we recognise some people will have no other option, particularly as more people start returning to work.

“Although services will start to increase slowly, train, tram and bus services have limited capacity - particularly with social distancing - and wherever possible should be kept free for key workers and people who rely on them.

“Anyone using public transport should follow government guidance around face coverings, social distancing, basic hygiene routines and contactless payment.

“We’ve launched this campaign to help reinforce these behaviours amongst passengers and remind them that we all have a part to play to keep ourselves and each other safe.”

While discussions are continuing with government over a longer-term funding for Metrolink following the significant reduction in patronage, the Mayor of Greater Manchester announced that Greater Manchester’s leaders have agreed to increase the frequency of tram services on all lines from 20 to 12 minutes (Monday - Saturday) from next Tuesday (May 26, 2020).

First and last tram times will remain the same and as many trams as possible will run as double trams to help with social distancing.

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