‘Overcrowding’ concerns on coastal bus route

A Sutton on Sea pensioner has aired his concerns about overcrowding on a local bus service – claiming there was ‘standing room only’ and ‘no social distancing’ on two bus journeys at the end of August.

Stagecoach bus (stock image)

The man told the Leader that he had not travelled on public transport throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but ventured out to Skegness twice on the last Monday and Wednesday in August, travelling on the Stagecoach ‘59’ bus route.

The resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “It was absolutely packed. It was standing room only, and there was no social distancing.

“It was a horrendous situation. New passengers shouldn’t be allowed to get on the bus if it’s already at full capacity.

“It starts to get really busy around Chapel St Leonards and Ingoldmells. There are already other buses services between those places and Skegness, so I think people from Chapel and Ingoldmells should go on the other buses to ensure social distancing.”

Dave Skepper, commercial director for Stagecoach East Midlands, told the Leader: “We have introduced a range of protective measures for customers travelling on our bus services across the East Midlands region, which reflect the guidance given to bus operators in England.

“These include enhanced cleaning routines, the need for bus passengers to wear face coverings, and temporary guidance on reduced vehicle capacities.

“Customer travel patterns are changing quickly at the moment.

“We are monitoring numbers on a daily basis, and reviewing customer feedback, to try to closely match capacity with demand.

“This can be more difficult in the coastal area, where visitor numbers are influenced by the weather.

“For this reason, we maintain a contingency of additional buses and drivers to provide extra seats where necessary.

“We have introduced a ‘busy bus’ feature to the Stagecoach app, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play.

“This is helping people to plan their journeys at quieter times of the day.”

To download the app, visit www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/national/stagecoachbusapp.