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Shapps Right To Highlight Two Metre Safety On Public Transport

24 June 2020

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has backed comments from Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, in relation to the two metre social distancing rule on public transport.

Shapps told the Commons Transport Committee that public transport must be protected and “should only be used by those who need to use it”.

He went on to highlight to MPs how important it was to see stickers across public transport reminding people of the two metre rule and other measures aimed at fighting the spread of Covid-19.

This follows the announcement yesterday (23rd June) by Boris Johnson who outlined a move to one metre plus in some business and leisure settings.

Commenting, Cortes said: “Our union welcomes these comments by the Transport Secretary. He is correct in repeating that we must protect our public transport network. The reality is that reduced capacity will be with us until a vaccine or a cure for this deadly virus is found.

“This means public transport must only be used for essential journeys, particularly by those keeping us safe from Covid-19. This means those who can work from home must continue to do so.

"Grant Shapps is also right to highlight that there are currently stickers on the ground across our network reminding people to maintain a physical distance between each other of at least two metres.

“This must not change as a result of yesterday's Government announcement. The last couple of months have shown that it's possible to keep our public transport network open and safe with this restriction in place.

As Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, has said ‘a minute at two metres contact is about the same risk as six seconds at one metre...and the risk at one metre is about 10 to 30 times higher than the risk at two metres’.

“It’s crucial now that Ministers are clear about social distancing in confined spaces such as trains where people will be spending not seconds or minutes together, but often hours.” 

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