Coronavirus: Transport Staff

19th June 2020

It is vital that we keep our transport system going but also protect transport staff.

Guidance has been issued to transport operators to help them identify and address risks to their staff as the lockdown eases. For example, the guidance encourages operators to carry out risk assessments, set out clear rules on interacting with passengers, re-deploy clinically vulnerable people into roles where the risk is lower and use screens to create a physical barrier at places such as ticket offices.

I have been reassured that the Government will also work with transport operators to ensure staff are provided with and wear face coverings where appropriate for their role.

In addition, operators should put in place protocols to ensure that both public and private areas and vehicles are kept clean to stop transmission of coronavirus through people touching contaminated surfaces. Buttons, handrails, vehicle keys and other touch points should be subject to increased cleaning.

Transport staff should wash their hands thoroughly and frequently and operators should maintain sufficient supplies of hand sanitiser, including for those working away from hand washing facilities.

The guidance recognises that transport staff may not be able to stay 2 metres apart from each other or passengers at all times, but states that the length of these periods should be minimised.

Guidance for passengers also makes clear to those who have to make essential journeys that they should consider all other transport options before deciding to take public transport. Passengers have also been advised to avoid using public transport during rush hour, as well as to stay a distance of two metres from others, wash or sanitise their hands and catch coughs or sneezes with tissues. People should not be using public transport at all if they have symptoms of coronavirus or if they or anyone in their household is self-isolating.

Coronavirus - COVID-19

Image by Olga Lionart from Pixabay

For the latest Government advice on the Coronavirus pandemic visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus

For the latest medical advice visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

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Planning White Papers

I have submitted my responses to the two planning consultations: “Changes to the current planning system’ and “Planning for the future’.

These planning changes are one of the most significant events to affect the Cotswolds since WWII. I think that both papers contain positive proposals, in our case commitments to protect the AONB. The proposal to abolition Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should speed up the planning process and it is important that the money is retained locally so that the infrastructure can be built at the same time as the development. 

Too often we see a development being built long before the supporting infrastructure, which I know can cause significant issues for existing residents. The proposals to simplify and speed up local plan-making and retaining neighbourhood plans where possible are welcome, in that design codes can be specified so it should be possible to protect our unique Cotswolds vernacular.   

I spoke in the planning backbench business debate on the 8 October and called for a change to the algorithm the Government uses in its planning White Paper which fails to take account of local variations and concentrates all new house building in the south-east and central south of England. 

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