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COVID-19 Travel Advice

The Government have issued guidance on how to travel safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in England. It provides guidance for walking, cycling, using private vehicles (for example cars and vans), and travelling by taxis and public transport (for example trains, buses, coaches and ferries).  

The Government has also recently announced that from the 15th June, face coverings will be required while using public transport in England. Further details are available here.

Stay Alert

We can all help control coronavirus if we all stay alert.  This means:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

Is your journey necessary?

To help keep yourself and your fellow passengers safe, you should not travel if you are:

Before you travel, consider if your journey is necessary and if you can, stay local. Try to reduce your travel. This will help keep the transport network running and allow people who need to make essential journeys to travel. You can reduce your travel by:

  • working from home where possible
  • shopping less frequently and shopping locally.


Government Guidance



Walking and Cycling

Walking and cycling will reduce pressure on the public transport system and the road network. Consider walking and if you can.  There are maps available here to help plan your journey by providing maps showing dedicated paths and routes.

Where possible, try to maintain social distancing when you walk or cycle, for example, when approaching or passing other pedestrians or waiting at crossings and traffic lights.

Where using a bike (private or hired), wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands before and after cycling.

Public Transport

Plan your journey

  • Consider all forms of transport before using public transport. For example, consider whether you can walk or cycle.
  • From 15th June onwards you should wear a face covering when using public transport in England.
  • If travelling by public transport, check the latest travel advice from your transport operator and plan your journey in advance if possible. Also, consider the following:
  • Plan your journey to minimise crowded areas and allow for delays.
  • Travel at off-peak times if possible.
  • Try and take the most direct route to your destination
  • Where possible, book your travel online through your transport provider’s ticketing app or website.
  • Consider contactless payment to buy tickets.

Things to consider taking with you on your journey

  • A plan for your journey
  • Contactless payment card or pass
  • Mobile phone (if needed for travel updates, tickets, contactless payments)
  • Tickets
  • Hand santiser
  • Essential medicines
  • Tissues
  • A face covering should be worn on public transport from 15th June onwards.

On your journey

  • Public Health England recommends keeping a 2 metre distance from other people, where possible. Where this is not possible you should keep the time you spend nears others as short as possible and avoid physical contact.
  • Be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • Treat transport staff with respect and follow instructions from your transport operator.

This may include:

  • Notices about which seats to use or how to queue
  • Additional screens, barriers or floor markings
  • Requests to board through different doors or to move to less busy areas

Help keep yourself, other passengers and transport staff safe:

  • Wait for passengers to get off first before you board
  • Ensure you maintain social distancing, where possible, including at busy entrances, exits, under canopies, bus stops, platforms or outside of stations
  • Be prepared to queue or take a different entrance or exit at stations
  • Wait for the next service if you cannot safely keep your distance on board a train, bus or coach
  • Respect other people’s space while travelling
  • Avoid consuming food and drink on public transport, where possible
  • Be aware of pregnant, older and disabled people who may require a seat or extra space
  • Be aware that some individuals may have hidden disabilities

Completing your journey

When finishing your journey, we recommend you:

  • Consider walking or cycling from the station or stop you arrived at
  • Follow any local guidance
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible – do the same for children within your care if they have travelled.

Bus Travel

People can contact Wiltshire Council’s Passenger Transport Unit by emailing or calling 01225 718080.

For the latest timetable, passengers are advised to contact their local bus operator or visit their websites, or contact the Wiltshire Passenger Transport Unit.

Rail Travel

For COVID-19 rail travel information please see individual train operator pages:

Private Cars, Taxis and Car Share

Plan your journey

Plan your route, including any breaks, before setting out. Try to stay as local as possible to your home. Routes may be different as local areas make changes to enable social distancing on pavements and cycle routes.

On your journey

If driving, you should anticipate more pedestrians and cyclists than usual, especially at peak times of day. Allow other road users to maintain social distance, where possible.

Limit the time you spend at garages, petrol stations and motorway services. Try to keep your distance from other people and if possible pay by contactless. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands when arriving and leaving.

Completing your journey

When finishing your journey, we recommend you:

  • Follow any local guidance
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible

Car Sharing

If you normally share a vehicle with people from other households for essential journeys, we recommend you find a different way to travel. For example, consider walking, cycling or using your own vehicle if you can.

If you have to travel with people outside your household group, try to share the transport with the same people each time and keep to small groups of people at any one time.

There are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas.

Be aware of the surfaces you or others touch. If people from different households use a vehicle (for example through a car share scheme), you should clean it between journeys using gloves and standard cleaning products. Make sure you clean door handles, steering wheel and other areas that people may touch.

Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles

At taxi ranks try to keep your distance from people outside your household, where possible. Public Health England recommends keeping a 2 metre distance from others, where possible.

Taxi and private hire vehicle (for example minicab) operators are likely to have put in place new measures to help with social distancing. When traveling in taxis or private hire vehicles follow the advice of the driver.

You may want to check with your taxi operator before travelling if they have put any additional measures in place.

There are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure.

When finishing your journey, we recommend you:

  • Follow local guidance
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible

Reallocation of Road Space

First bids submitted to reallocate road space for cycling and walking

Wiltshire Council has submitted five road reallocation projects to the Department of Transport (DfT) to make significant changes to road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians.

The five projects have to meet strict criteria to secure funding, and add up to £227,000 worth of investment, which accounts for the first allocation of funding from DfT. Further projects around the county will fall into the next round of funding, of around £900,000, provided they meet the criteria for the next phase.

The funding is designed to help authorities use temporary interventions to create an environment that is safe for both walking and cycling, allowing people to get around while maintaining social distance and avoiding overcrowding on public transport.

The five schemes were shortlisted based on the busiest bus routes in the county, with those routes that could not accommodate a cycleway without significant costs or land acquisition being discounted. The five schemes included in the first round are:

1. Salisbury cycleways to link Harnham to the city centre, allowing cyclists easy access to the city. The scheme will see one southbound lane on Brown Street turned into a cycleway and the removal of on-street parking on Exeter Street to create a cycleway on the street while maintaining two-way traffic.

2. A segregated cycleway and footway on the B3108 between Winsley and Bradford on Avon, allowing easy access between the two, and giving cyclists the option of a traffic-free ride from Winsley, into Bradford on Avon and then on to Bath along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

3. On the A420 in Chippenham, a segregated cycleway linking Bumpers Farm to the town centre, giving cyclists easy access to the centre of the town.

4. The removal of through traffic on Hook Street in Purton, which runs parallel with the A3102 between Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon. Created in partnership with Swindon Borough Council, this will install a 3.5km route for cyclists and walkers, linking Purton with Swindon’s Lydiard Park.

5. A segregated cycleway on the A361 Hilperton Road in Trowbridge, from near the fire station into advisory cycle lanes from Stancomb Avenue to Hilperton Road roundabout, of more than 1km in total.

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “We received many submissions around the county for this space reallocation project, and we thank everyone who has contacted us for their great ideas and feedback on these plans.

“We have chosen these initial five schemes based on the criteria set by DfT, because they can be delivered within the timeframe, and because they are on major bus routes, so they will help to link our communities to town centres, employment and businesses.

“If approved by DfT, work will start on these schemes quickly, as they have to be completed within eight weeks to help embed walking and cycling as long-term commuting habits, and in turn reap the associated health, air quality and congestion benefits.

“These first five submissions account for the total £227,000 we have initially been allocated by DfT, but we hope to be able to submit several other schemes for approval as part of the next round of funding, which should be around £900,000 for the Wiltshire Council area.

“We look forward to these routes being completed so cyclists and walkers can use them and enjoy all the health and environmental benefits they can bring.”

Using separate funding, the council is also progressing a social distancing scheme in Malmesbury town centre that will benefit both cyclists and pedestrians. As part of this trial, a one-way footway system for pedestrians will be installed on both sides of High Street. Work should begin on this project in the next week.

Wiltshire Council is working on a series of projects to make significant changes to road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians, following recent guidance from the Department of Transport to reallocate road space in response to COVID-19.

As the number of cars on the road has fallen considerably in recent months, more people have been walking and cycling for exercise and to travel to essential work.  Because of the reduction in traffic, people have been able to walk and cycle safely.

However, as lockdown restrictions are eased, increased levels of traffic may make it more dangerous for people to walk or cycle safely and maintain the 2m social distancing requirement. Current government advice is that people should avoid using public transport.

To capitalise on this, Wiltshire Council has formed teams of officers for each of its 18 community areas, which will work closely with local members and town and parish councils to identify potential sites, using their local and technical knowledge to swiftly progress these schemes.

Anyone with suggestions for potential sites should email

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We’re keen to develop reallocated road spaces to encourage walking and cycling as soon as possible, and we’re working closely with local members and town and parish councils to ensure there is local support for any scheme that is progressed.

“We don’t yet know how many schemes we’ll be able to take forward in Wiltshire, as the funding from central government has yet to be finalised, but we’re looking to create as many cycling and pedestrian schemes as we can to really capitalise on the behavioural changes many have made during lockdown.

“All potential schemes will be assessed against agreed criteria by a panel of officers, which will enable them to identify a priority list for design and implementation.  They will identify practical solutions that will see other changes in our streets for example, some schemes may replace some current parking spaces.

“If the schemes are successful, there is a chance they will become permanent, but this would be decided on a case by case basis.

“We’re expecting to work on these changes through the summer.”

Once the schemes are agreed and progressed, on the ground, people will see changes in road markings, plus the addition of fixed bollards and barriers to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe and to enable social distancing.

Most proposals are not likely to require Temporary Traffic regulation
Orders (TTRO), but where they are required, they will be subject to
cabinet member approval. Where applicable, the council will also
undertake road safety and accessibility audits before schemes are implemented.

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