A bus company has insisted it is complying with government coronavirus guidance after a Twitter user posted a photo of what she called the “shocking overcrowding” of school pupils.
A user called Elaine posted a photo of a bus mostly filled with students sitting and standing next to each other.
She told an Arriva Twitter account that “schools are doing everything to keep our children safe and they’re having to travel in these conditions”.
@arrivamidlandsE Absolutely shocking overcrowding on your X84 bus, schools are doing everything to keep our children safe and they’re having to travel in these conditions! pic.twitter.com/swFJ3kQO0O— elaine (@elaine90660136) September 8, 2020
Elaine told the Leicester Mercury that her 17-year-old daughter sent her the photo on 7 September.
The daughter was travelling from Narborough, Leicestershire, to her college.
“I was so angry I just put the photo on Twitter and hoped to raise awareness that way,” Elaine told the paper.
“The school is doing what it can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 but they have to travel there packed in like sardines.”
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In a statement, Arriva’s area managing director Simon Mathieson has said the firm is following guidance and, after receiving feedback, would put a double-decker service on.
“All our services have been made COVID-19 secure, and we are complying with the most recent government guidance on social distancing measures,” he said.
“The service mentioned is a duplicate bus with two buses running together. One is open to the general public as normal and the other is a dedicated school bus, numbered as SX84, which is reserved for school, sixth form and college pupils only.
“Where possible we are asking pupils to maintain social distancing and wear a face covering if over 11.
“On these dedicated school buses the capacity is increased, as per government guidelines, allowing students to sit next to each other and to stand if necessary. All of our staff received additional training to ensure school buses are kept closed to pupils only.”
He added that safe travel for school and college children is “of the utmost importance to us and our drivers” and that the company constantly monitors the situation.
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