Changes made to Darlington town centre bus stops and bus services

Changes made to Darlington town centre bus stops and bus services
29 May 2020

Passengers using bus services in Darlington will see a number of changes made to town centre bus stops and bus timetables from Monday (June 1) as more social distancing measures are put in place ahead of an anticipated rise in demand.

Arriva will increase the frequency of their bus services following further government advice that those who are unable to work from home should return to work.  Bus operators will continue to monitor service levels in line with demand and ongoing advice from the government and public health bodies.

Social distancing measures on-board buses, to help protect passengers and drivers, mean that not all of the seats can be used.  If passengers are sitting in all of the available seats, the bus is full. The driver will then display a ‘bus full’ sign and only stop if customers wish to get off the bus.

Full details of the revised timetables will be available on the Connect Tees Valley website and from Arriva direct.

Darlington Borough Council has worked in partnership with service operators to ensure that passengers who need to travel can do so confidently and safely in the coming weeks.

In Darlington town centre, additional temporary bus stops have been introduced, and changes have been made to where a number of services will drop off and pick up passengers. These changes have been made to avoid groups of people gathering in one area and also to avoid pinch points in narrow areas such as Prebend Row.

Social distancing guidance will also be introduced at bus stops, with floor markers to highlight priority waiting and boarding for disabled bus users, and queuing guidance to ensure that passengers leave 2 metres between themselves and other passengers when getting on and off the bus.

Changes will be communicated via signage on the affected bus stops. Hand sanitiser will be made available near to bus stops, in the coming weeks, to allow people to sanitise their hands before and after using the bus.

Support will be on hand from Arriva’s town centre supervisor, to help anyone who may have difficulties finding their revised stop.

Councillor Andy Keir, cabinet member for local services, said: “We’ve looked at every aspect of bus travel in Darlington and we’ve worked with service operators to put a number of measures in place to help passengers travel with confidence.

“We are aware that changes to services and bus stops cause difficulty for some, particularly visually impaired passengers, but we’ll be doing everything we can to make these changes as smooth as possible.

“This is another step in reopening our town centre, supporting businesses and welcoming people back to Darlington.”

Bus services are running for key workers, those who can't work from home and people making essential journeys.  Those who have to travel by bus, should follow government advice: wash or sanitise your hands before and after your journey, avoid travelling at peak times, follow the 2 metre rule, use contactless to pay for your travel, and wear a face covering if you can.  Those with  symptoms of the Coronavirus or who has someone in their household self-isolating must not travel.