First Reduces Services In Wake of Coronavirus

Following on from reductions in Stagecoach services earlier this week, FirstAberdeen has announced that its routes will operate on a Sunday services from Thursday 26 March 2020 until further notice.

Lib Dem councillor for Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill Steve Delaney said, “With all but workers in the NHS, the council, food stores and other key support and supply roles now in self isolation it had become inevitable that First’s services would be cut back”.

“Early morning services are to to commence at least an hour later and all services outwith the first few buses will run on a 30 minute frequency”.

“Everything has changed in the last 24 hours. For your own safety please do not travel on public transport unless you are a key worker or you require essential food shopping for yourself or others who are self isolating”.

Within our area the No 3 will start at 06.45, the 13 starts at 07.10 and the 23 starts at 06.40.

Full timetables for all First’s Aberdeen routes effective from 26 March 2020 can be found here

First’s Press Release is reprinted in full below.

First Aberdeen has announced that bus services will operate a revised Sunday timetable during the working week effective from Thursday, March 26th 2020, with additional morning journeys added in to ensure it sustains services for those key workers and emergency service staff needing to make essential travel across the region.

The bus operator is committed to continuing services wherever possible so that those who need to make essential journeys, like health service and emergency workers, can continue to do so.

The announcement comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined strict new measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, including advice that people should leave home only to exercise once a day, travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”, shop for essential items and to fulfil any medical or care needs.

Recent days have seen bus passenger numbers continue to reduce as people adhere to the government lockdown

This is reflected across other sectors, all of which have had to review and reduce their operations in view of the fast-moving coronavirus outbreak.

First has written to the Local Traffic Commissioner about its intentions as well as keeping the relevant local authorities and key stakeholders up to date. Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director of First Aberdeen, said: “With much of the UK effectively ordered to stay at home for at least the next few weeks, we have made the decision to move to a Sunday timetable to support those who still need to get to and from work and get out to shops and pharmacies, whilst fulfilling our own role as vital key workers during this time of national crisis.

“Just a few weeks ago it was almost inconceivable that these restrictions would be in place, which only underlines what a challenging, dynamic and rapidly evolving situation the UK faces, and one which First Aberdeen is monitoring and responding to day-by-day, hour-by-hour.

“It’s important to emphasise that we are in constant contact with stakeholders, including local authorities and ministers, and rest assured everything is being done to keep those key workers mobile as the nation comes together to limit the spread of coronavirus.

“We are doing everything possible to deploy staff across our operations with a view to minimising the impacts for everybody.

“Regular customers can be assured we will endeavour to get more frequent services back up and running as soon as the Government decides it is safe to do so.

“Please bear with us as given the fast-changing nature of the situation it will be difficult to keep all our communication channels updated with the latest information.”

The service information in the First Bus app for example, will not reflect updated timetables, so customers are advised to refer to the First Aberdeen website for the most up to date service information, travel advice and information about Coronavirus.