Johnsons Coaches has detailed the safety measures that it will implement for group travel both during and beyond the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. It says they will “provide a controlled, hygienic environment that is ideal for commuting as well as ensuring a group’s health and wellbeing.”

The Henley-in-Arden operator’s Safe Operating Procedure document is based on current government guidance. It also considers Johnsons’ coronavirus COVID-19 risk assessment. The following measures have been put into place:

  • The coach will arrive only a few minutes prior to departure. That will minimise the time that passengers spend aboard
  • The driver will then alight and ask customers to board. Hand sanitiser will be passed to the group leader before boarding. Face masks will be available if passengers do not have their own
  • Loading will be done in reverse seat row order starting from the rear. Those that live together may occupy adjacent seats. The double seat behind the driver will not be in use
  • Once the group has boarded, the driver will rejoin and carry out the safety briefing process before commencing the journey. Children will be requested to maintain a forward-facing position
  • While travelling, the signalling window and roof vents will remain open. The driver will wear a mask during this time
  • Upon arrival, the driver will exit first. After that, passengers will disembark in row order starting from the front
  • Before the next journey is undertaken the driver will disinfect and clean the coach. A more involved cleaning procedure will take place daily
  • Exchange of any items such as lost property will be carried out at the end of the hire.

When these provisions are considered, seating capacities on Johnsons’ coach fleet will extend from nine passenger on an otherwise 16-seater to 30 passengers on an otherwise 63-seat vehicle. A 53-seater with a toilet will be able to carry 25 passengers. On a coach with 2+2 seating every other position will be used, with the exception of none in the pair immediately behind the driver and two seats occupied in the rear row of five.

Says Johnsons Coaches Commercial Director John Johnson: “In these difficult times, the protection and safety of our passengers and drivers is our primary concern.

“As the country starts to be released from a long period of lockdown, we hope that businesses and schools will start to consider booking coaches for their group travel. We strongly believe that our fleet provides a safer and more secure option than other forms of public transport.”