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Government announces £283m funding to keep bus and rail passengers safe

PA Media logoPA Media 2 days ago By Ted Hennessey, PA
a bus that is parked on the side of a building: Grant Shapps said the funding would increase both frequency and capacity of services (PA) © Dominic Lipinski Grant Shapps said the funding would increase both frequency and capacity of services (PA)

The Government is pumping £283 million into roads, railways, buses and trams to improve public safety and protect services, the Transport Secretary has announced.

Grant Shapps said the funding, divided into £254 million for buses and £29 million for trams and light rail, would increase both frequency and capacity of services while ensuring there is enough space on vehicles to allow for social distancing.

The money will be spent on making adjustments to vehicles, signage, deep cleaning and the provision of hand sanitiser.

Social distance and empty spaces: UK life under lockdown (Photos)

In addition, 3,400 people, including British Transport Police officers and Network Rail staff, have been deployed at stations to make sure passengers follow the social distancing guidance put in place.

Light rail funding will also support services in Sheffield, Nottingham, Tyne and Wear, Manchester and the West Midlands.

A personalised information service has also been introduced to inform people about disruption and crowding on services.

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It comes after the Department for Transport announced earlier this month that £225 million will go towards creating pop-up and permanent cycle lanes across England to encourage people to use bikes instead of public transport when necessary.

Mr Shapps, who will lead the daily Downing Street press conference on Saturday afternoon, said:   “To make sure people can travel safely when they need to, we are increasing capacity on buses and light rail, as well as helping local authorities fast-track plans to support cyclists and pedestrians, further reducing pressure on our transport network.

“These measures will help keep passengers safe now, but we must also prepare for what comes next.

“Strengthening vital road and railway connections, as well as encouraging cycling and walking, will be essential to our ambition to level up the country, secure a green legacy, and kickstart regional economies, as we build out of Covid-19 and look to the future.”

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Stay at home as much as possible to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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