Labour: New transport advice ‘will lead to confusion’

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Labour’s shadow transport secretary has said the government’s latest advice on travel amid the coronavirus crisis will cause confusion among passengers and operators.

Jim McMahon told MPs today that the UK’s transport workers were “the very best of us”.

“It is so important that we give a voice to those workers too because even today, the official advice is found wanting and it will lead to confusion,” he said.

It was in response to new guidelines set out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps as some people prepare to return to work in the gradual easing of lockdown measures.

Mr Shapps advised that only those who cannot work from home should travel to work and said the government was “actively asking” people to walk or cycle where possible.

People who need public transport should maintain a two-metre distance from others, wear face coverings, avoid the rush hour and wash hands before and after travel.

He said operators should ensure stations, services and equipment are regularly cleaned and clearly communicate passenger flows to avoid crowding. He said there is no “one size fits all” approach and that measures will need to be tailored to each service.

But Mr McMahon said the guidance “left too much to chance”

“There is far too much ‘should’, ‘could’, ‘not always possible’, ‘as much as you can’, rather than clear directive guidance,” he said.

He concluded: “We urgently need a comprehensive plan for transport. What the public rightly demand is that the chaos surrounding the exit plan ends.”

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