Coronavirus Bus Service FAQ's
We've put together some of the most commonly asked questions about our bus services during the Coronavirus outbreak with answers below.
Help us to get everyone moving safely by following the travel tips we've put together for everyone's comfort and safety. You'll find more about those here.
The current government advice is to Stay at Home and only travel when essential. There are no restrictions on who may use our buses for essential journeys and everyone is welcome as long as they wear a face covering (unless they have an exemption), follow all current government restrictions, and they are not feeling unwell. Anyone who is suffering from coronavirus symptoms including a persistent cough or high temperature, should not travel, and should follow public health guidelines. With operators and customers working together we will provide a bus network, for those who need it, that is safe and allows everyone to complete their essential journeys.
On our buses we are operating at a reduced capacity with around half of the seats being available, although members of the same household are able to travel together. It is therefore possible that that you might see ‘Bus Full’ signs as some services reach their revised capacity more quickly.
If you are waiting at a bus stop and the bus drives past, it is likely it has reached its reduced seating capacity. If the bus does stop, but is near capacity, the driver will only allow one person to board for every person that gets off, so you may need to allow extra time for your journey and be prepared to wait. With the latest version of the First Bus App you can now track your bus live on a map and it also displays how many seats are available on each bus, and whether or not the wheelchair bay is free.
In addition, you will also see further measures in place to help you to adhere to social distancing guidelines. These include:
- New capacity signs by the entrance of each bus
- Seat signs and tape to clearly show where you should/shouldn’t sit to maintain a safe distance
- Reminders to be considerate of other passengers
- No longer allowing standing
What should passengers do to socially distance, at stops and on board the bus?
- Plan your travel in advance, avoiding peak periods
- Please observe social distancing on-bus and at bus stops
- Wear a face covering when on board
- Sit in a marked seat, leaving an empty seat next to you - household groups are allowed to sit together.
- On our double deckers, consider sitting upstairs (if you are able)
- Pay with contactless or purchasing your ticket in advance on our Mobile App
- Use the correct change if you must pay by cash
- No eating or drinking while on board
- Leave windows open to aid ventilation
We also advise that you try to travel before the last service of the day, to avoid the risk of the last service bus being full. We will not be able to run extra buses after the last service bus.
At present it is a legal requirement for passengers to wear face coverings while travelling on public transport in England.
- Please remember to bring a face covering or mask for your journey, it needs to fit well and cover your mouth and nose.
- Put your face covering on before boarding the bus.
- If you have an exemption and you are unable to wear a face covering please be prepared to inform the driver or show an Extra help to travel card (Journey assistance card). Please see here for more details ⇒
- Please take your face covering with you at the end of your journey.
Who is exempt from wearing a face covering?
Exemptions for the use of face coverings will apply to those with certain health conditions, disabled people and children under the age of 11.
The normal rules regarding concessionary bus passes apply. These are available for use from 0930 on weekdays and all day at weekends with reduced single fares being available to pass holders from 0830 on weekdays.
To avoid buses becoming full and being unable to accommodate key workers and those making essential journeys at fixed times, we would ask concessionary pass holders to avoid using the first buses immediately after 0930, and to spread their travel accross the day as far as possible. This will help to allow us to accomodate all those who wish to use our services at this time when buses are operating at reduced capacities.
Support for disabled passengers remains the same as before coronavirus, see here for more details ⇒
We offer our full support to wheelchair users who want to travel with us. While many of our seats are blocked with signs or tape, our wheelchair spaces remain available. All our buses have a dedicated area for wheelchair users; other passengers are required to give up the space for wheelchair users. Please ask the driver for assistance if you require any help. If the driver needs to leave their cab to provide passenger assistance they will wear a face covering.
Wheelchair users have priority over everyone else for the use of the designated wheelchair space, since this is the only place in which they can travel safely.
- If the ramp is required please keep a 2 metre distance whilst the driver puts the ramp in place.
- The driver will keep the time they are within 2 metres of you to an absolute minimum.
Our Norwich & Ipswich Travel Centres are currently closed due to the national lockdown.
For customer service enquiries you can call us on 0345 646 0707. Our lines are open from 9am to 5pm Mon-Fri. Our quieter times are usually between 11am and 3pm so you may prefer to call then as there will be less of a wait to speak to one of our Customer Support Agents.
If you prefer, you can fill out the contact form here instead ⇒ We will get back to you as soon as we can but please be aware that for lost property enquiries our response time is usually within 3 working days for all other enquiries this could take up to 14 days.
Coronavirus - School Bus Information
PAGE UPDATED - Tuesday 19th January 2021 Carrying pupils and students of all ages is a key part of what we do at First Eastern Counties and so we continue to take additional measures to ensure that they can travel safely with us.
Coronavirus Safer Bus Travel
Safer Bus Travel with First Eastern Counties At First Eastern Counties, your safety is our top priority and we are working with the Government and wider industry to ensure we are following the latest advice to keep you safe on our buses.