Main image: Metro Mayor Dan Norris with First Bus driver Krys Bulfki when he launched a push for mask wearing on buses yesterday. Picture courtesy of WECA.
As Government rules on mask use changed on Monday (19 July) – Metro Mayor Dan Norris has launched a campaign to encourage bus passengers to continue wearing them.
The newly elected Mayor for the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) which consists of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire has responsibility for transport as well as jobs and housing.
A recording of the Mayor on 460 buses across the West of England will say: “I’m Dan Norris, Metro Mayor for the West of England. Thank you for wearing a face covering on this bus. Together let’s keep our communities safe.”
Buses will also display posters thanking passengers for wearing face coverings.
Mr Norris made an in-person bus announcement aboard the 73 bus yesterday at Bristol Parkway Train Station – where he was joined by driver Krys Bulfki.
He said: “If you can, please wear a face covering to protect yourself and everyone else. A huge thank you to First for continuing to encourage the wearing of masks to keep passengers and drivers as safe as possible…
“To me it’s simple. The question is: is it safer for everyone if as many people as possible wear a mask on public? And the answer is obviously yes.
“We’re seeing soaring COVID infection rates so it would have been so much better to require people to mask up. But as the Government won’t step up it’s going to be down to West of England people.”
A spokesperson for First West of England said the health, safety and comfort of their colleagues and customers remained “front and centre” at the company.
“We are following Government guidance and recommending that those customers who can, continue to wear a face covering on board our buses, especially when services are busy. We encourage everyone to respect their fellow passengers and look out for one another.
“Together with practical measures such as enhanced daily cleaning with long-lasting sanitiser and open windows for ventilation to maintain safe travel, our customers can plan journeys on the First Bus App, providing live updates on bus capacity and seating.”
People can download a mask thank you poster for their business by visiting: https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Thank-you-for-wearing-a-mask.pdf