Trips in West Midlands number above national average during coronavirus lockdown - The Solihull Observer

Trips in West Midlands number above national average during coronavirus lockdown

Solihull Editorial 30th Mar, 2020   0

PEOPLE in the West Midlands are still making ‘unnecessary journeys’ and potentially putting people at risk, transport chiefs say.

Daily journeys on public transport have fallen by 86 per cent since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the figures from Transport for the West Midlands show the number of journeys in the region is still above the national average.

Managers at TfWM say the drop-off in journeys shows the region is abiding by the government advice.

Thanking the region for its effort to limit travel, the authority conceded the West Midlands has further to go.

Those who normally commute have been asked to work from home, and social arrangements have come to halt as the government has restricted people’s movements.

Rail and bus staff continue to keep networks running for key workers and those collecting essential shopping and medical supplies.

The figures are revealed as the region’s largest bus operator National Express West Midlands and West Midlands Metro announced new timetables and reductions in services from today (March 30)

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Thank you to everyone who is following the Government’s clear advice and staying at home. This significant reduction in public transport use shows that the vast majority of people across the West Midlands are acting very responsibly in these incredibly challenging and unprecedented times.

“However some people are still travelling unnecessary, and I would urge these people to please listen to the government advice and protect yourself and others. If we are going to beat Coronavirus then everyone in the West Midlands needs to play their part.

“For those who have to travel on public transport, such as key workers, please remember to socially distance and take appropriate precautions where possible, such as eliminating the use of cash and paying via contactless methods.”

Coun Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council added: “We would also like to thank the dedicated staff right across our transport network who are turning up at this difficult time to keep rail, Metro and bus services running throughout the day for our critical workers.

“Regular services are still running to key destinations like hospitals and supermarkets but we would ask people to only use them if absolutely necessary and follow social distance guidelines to protect critical workers and transport staff and stop the further spread of the coronavirus.”


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