OPINION: Should bus passengers be forced to wear face masks and gloves?

Subscribers to the Network West Midlands mailing list will have received an email with an invitation to take part in TfWM’s “Coronavirus Survey”.

How has Covid-19 affected you?
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have affected all of us, not just in the West Midlands but globally.
We want to understand your views, to support our planning as the lockdown is lifted and ensure that the transport network and other services we provide across the region continue to meet your needs.
By completing this survey, you may win one of three £50 Amazon vouchers for completing the survey before 11th May 2020.

Click here to take part in the survey

Transport For West Midlands (TfWM)

Please, if you haven’t already, take part in this survey.

It’s basically a data-gathering exercise, and you’ll be asked some questions, principally to get an understanding of how peoples’ transport habits have changed, as well as questions about other activities.

Where this starts to get interesting though, is when you get through to a question that asks “Below are some potential measures that could be introduced as the lockdown eases to reassure the public that it is safe to travel by local public transport. How essential or not do you think these measure are?”

Click image to enlarge

Now, I have my own personal views on this whole situation, and I don’t want to start going down any big ‘conspiracy theory’ routes, as this website isn’t the place for that, but I am of the opinion this whole ‘pandemic’ has been overblown out of all proportion and while some caution should have been taken, this whole ‘lockdown’ situation has been very unneccessary, and will ultimately prove very costly. That is of course my own opinion, and others are welcome to disagree if your experiences have been any different to mine.

I am actually looking forward to this ‘lockdown’ finally coming to an end, with the hope that we can all get back to some kind of normality and get on with our lives, just like we used to before.

But I do find all this talk from politicians and the media of a “new normal” quite unsettling. And based on the above question asked by TfWM, I do not find the idea of passengers being asked to wear facemasks and gloves, or to even have their temperature checked while on the bus (or train or tram) reassuring in the slightest.

Other people may of course have different opinions on this, and if you disagree with me then I’m fine with that.

Various media outlets have already reported in the last few days on how commuters are to be asked to ‘take their temperature’ before leaving home, and there have been calls – notably from Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan – that commuters should cover their faces while travelling.

So I already have the feeling that despite what I (and hopefully many others) might think, what TfWM are asking views on in their survey has already been decided and will be implemented, whenever this lockdown comes to an end.

I’ve still had to travel on buses to commute to and from work during the lockdown, and while its been a minor inconvenience that my bus is less frequent than it used to be, it has been a delight that they have actually been very reliable, generally very clean, and I personally have not encountered any anti-social behaviour during this time.

And personally I feel that people would be more confident in using buses again if that were to become the ‘new normal’, rather than being forced to wear gloves and masks or keep their faces covered.

Anyway, enough of what I think, what do you think? Leave a comment below, or why not sign up to our Community Forum and have your say there?

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