Call for return of signs asking Hucknall and Bulwell tram users to wear anti-Covid face masks

Hucknall and Bulwell’s tram operator has been encouraged to consider bringing back signs asking passengers to wear face masks while travelling.

Should tram passengers be wearing face coverings?
Should tram passengers be wearing face coverings?

Concerns have been raised about the rise in coronavirus cases and that things are likely to get worse during the winter period.

Between June 27 and July 3, there were 136 people admitted to Nottingham’s hospitals with coronavirus, which is an increase of 86.3 percent compared to the previous seven days.

There were 194 patients in hospital with Covid-19 on July 5, and three deaths in Nottingham from coronavirus between June 25 and July 1.

Councillors met at Loxley House in Nottingham to discuss some of their concerns with Nottingham Express Transit (NET) bosses.

Coun Adele Williams (Lab), portfolio holder for finance at Nottingham City Council, was wearing a mask in the meeting and described the importance of encouraging people to wear them on public transport.

“I think it is likely as we move into the flu season, we are expecting a resurgence,” she said.

Covid rates are pretty high and I do not think it will be long before Public Health is promoting face masks on public transport. Not just for individual safety and protecting the NHS but protecting the infrastructure of the city.

“My strong view, supported by evidence, is wearing face coverings on public transport is a low hassle way of preventing transmission and I would like to see the signage still there.”

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Coun Sam Gardiner (Lab) also said he would like signage to be reintroduced across the network.

“I think we all have a responsibility. There is a duty of care to passengers and the wider public.”

Coun Audra Wynter (Lab), portfolio holder for highways, transport, and parks at the city council, also believed more could be done.

“The infection rates are on the rise, and it is concerning, with many staff going off ill so the more we can encourage people on public transport to wear them I think we should,” she added.

Trevor Stocker, head of operations at Nottingham Trams, told the committee that signage changed throughout the pandemic, but it had “weaned off”.

“That’s not to say it should stay that way,” he said. “We will review that accordingly with Public Health, but I take your point.”