Bus passes can only be used after 9.30am from tomorrow

Passengers with bus passes in Melton will no longer be entitled to free travel before 9.30am from tomorrow (Monday).

By Nick Rennie
Sunday, 7th June 2020, 2:16 pm
A Centrebus 14 service bus turns out of Windsor Street, Melton EMN-200706-141238001
A Centrebus 14 service bus turns out of Windsor Street, Melton EMN-200706-141238001

Leicestershire County Council relaxed the times when concessionary cards could be used at the start of lockdown so that older and disabled people had access to supermarkets and other essential shops that specifically opened earlier for them.

But with the government beginning to relax restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19 by allowing the opening of non-essental shops from June 15, the council has decided to revert to the traditional set-up of allowing those with bus passes to travel free only between 9.30am and 11pm on Monday to Friday, all day Saturdays plus Sundays and Bank holidays.

The easing of lockdown means more people will be using public transport for work and school during the morning peak hours, so the change is considered necessary to ensure bus users will be better able to follow government social distancing guidelines.

Councillor Trevor Pendleton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “By reverting to the original times, this allows for social distancing guidelines to be more easily adhered to, while ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our communities are still able to get essential items.

“I would urge people travelling by bus to check if operators have any special rules and arrangements before travelling, to practice social distancing while on board and to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser when they leave public transport.”

During the lockdown period, on-street parking enforcement was also scaled down, although the council continued to respond to parking contraventions which impacted on highway safety.

In line with the latest government guidance, parking enforcement teams have increased patrolling to reflect an increase in traffic volume and ensure the flow of traffic and the safety of all highway users.

Penalty charge notices are being issued where safety is a concern, and warnings are being issued to motorists ignoring time-limited parking bay restrictions.

From tomorrow the county council plan to start moving towards a full enforcement programme.

Councillor Pendleton said: “As more of us, where we can, return to our pre-lockdown schedules, it is vital that we keep traffic moving and our roads safe and clear throughout the county, so our essential workers and emergency services can continue to travel with ease and, more importantly, travel safely.

“We urge people to be considerate of other road users before parking their car.”

Motorists are expected to be charged to use Melton Borough Council car parks again from June 15 after all council car parks were made free at the start of lockdown.

It is understood the borough council will issue more information on the resumption of parking fees this week.