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Combined Authority creates assistance cards for people exempt from wearing face coverings

26 June 2020

Assistance cards are now available to help people communicate they are exempt from wearing face coverings on public transport. 

In line with government guidance, face coverings are required for travelling on public transport unless you are exempt. The groups exempt from the rules include children under the age of 11 and those with disabilities or breathing difficulties.

It is not compulsory for public transport workers to wear a face covering.  In the case of bus drivers, most sit behind screens which protect both themselves and their passengers.

Feedback from bus and rail operators suggest that around 75% of people are wearing face coverings on bus and rail and the Combined Authority is continuing to urge all who can to observe the rules in consideration of other passengers and transport staff.

It is also asking people using public transport to be aware that some fellow passengers may legitimately not be wearing a face covering.

The assistance cards can be downloaded from our website here and can be printed out to show to public transport staff or simply shown to staff on their mobile phone. For those without internet access, cards can be obtained by post by phoning Metroline on 0113 245 7676 or in person by visiting one of our Metro Travel Centres.

People are being asked to consider whether their journey is necessary and if they could cycle or walk as an alternative to public transport. The latest travel information is available via www.wymetro.com and @MetroTravelNews on Twitter.

A spokesperson from Visits Unlimited, said:

“Visits Unlimited and members of our Accessible Calderdale Disability Access Forum are very pleased to see that West Yorkshire Combined Authority are meeting the needs of a range of disabled people and feel that the assistance cards will be a reasonable adjustment when travelling on public transport and will be most welcomed by the disabled community.”

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“Following new Government guidance, everyone must now wear a face covering while using on public transport unless they are exempt.

“To make it easier for staff to know who should and shouldn’t wear a face covering, we have introduced a new assistance card that customers will be able to download and carry with them or display on their mobile phone. ‘

“We hope this will provide support to a number of different groups, including those with hidden conditions, to communicate their exemption to transport staff.”

Visits Unlimited provides disability equality training and access audits to the tourism sector, businesses and organisations across the country.  Our local project Accessible Calderdale works with disabled people to have a voice in the design and planning of local transport schemes, new builds, town centre plans and works closely with the local authority and tourism industry. For more information visit www.visitsunlimited.org.uk

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